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Patriots excuse Michael Bennett for three days

Michael Bennett, Patriots

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett, new to the New England Patriots, will be excused from training camp for three days, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, who’s shooing away his involvement in the potential tampering case with the Houston Texans, excused the veteran defensive lineman for “personal reasons.”

Bennett, 33, is entering his 11th year in the NFL and first training camp with the Patriots. He was a member of the fearsome Legion of Boom for the Seattle Seahawks for five seasons. Prior to that, he spent four years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing with the franchise, having gone undrafted in 2009. After his time with the Seahawks ran out in 2017, Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in March of last year. Bennett appeared in each of Philly’s 16 games during the 2018 season.

The Patriots acquired Bennett and a 2020 seventh-round pick from the Eagles in March for a 2020 fifth-round pick.

Bennett recorded 34 combined tackles last season, including 15 tackles for losses, 30 quarterback hits, and nine sacks—the last stat only behind Pro Bowl defensive lineman Fletcher Cox for the team’s season leader.

The Patriots were mum on the specifics of Bennett’s absence, however:

Caserio didn’t detail what kept Bennett away, saying, “Michael has been great to work with, so we’ll leave it at that. I really don’t want to get into it any further.”

Reiss adds that Bennett did not participate in New England’s voluntary offseason programs, although he has attended all mandatory training camps.