ORLANDO – Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman addressed the media on Monday at the NFL's Annual Meeting and spent some time updating the situation of defensive end Michael Bennett, who on Friday was indicted for an alleged incident at Super Bowl LI as he attempted to get on the field to congratulate his brother, Martellus, then a tight end with the New England Patriots.
Earlier in the day, Bennett turned himself in to authorities in Houston as he faces felony charges of injuring an elderly, paraplegic woman at the Super Bowl played at NRG Stadium in February, 2017 as he allegedly "shoved his way" onto the field to reach his brother. Roseman told reporters that neither the Eagles nor the Seattle Seahawks, the team Bennett played for prior to the Eagles trading for him two weeks ago, knew of the alleged incident until Friday, when news of the incident broke.
"When we bring a player into Philadelphia we do a lot of background on that player," Roseman said. "We feel like we have the best security director in the National Football League. We talk about Dom DiSandro a lot. We also speak to our players, we speak to people who are with this person, we do a lot of background on people, so for us fit is very important. Obviously, fit was a big reason that we won last year. We're not doing anything where we're doing it nonchalant.
"In terms of the information, we're continuing to gather information as we get it. I think that more information will continue to come. Obviously, there was a change in his representation over the last 48 hours. I don't want to talk about an ongoing legal matter. I'm just giving you some background about where we were and how we do our process when we bring people in.
"I would say we did not know about it until Friday."
Roseman said the team has spoken to Bennett about the situation.
"Obviously, we're in constant communication with our players when they're going through things," Roseman said. "I think we're in a great country, and in this country people are presumed innocent and I think we have to be fair about that in all of these matters. I don't think it's fair in any situation to not give people the right to present their side."
Roseman said the Eagles spoke to some current members of the team before making the trade to acquire Bennett from Seattle and the word from players who played with Bennett is that Bennett "is a good teammate."