It was only a year ago that defensive end Michael Bennett inked a new four-year, $28.5MM contract (including $16MM guaranteed) with the Seahawks. Now the 29-year-old is seeking a new deal.
Bennett told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times that he’s asked the Seahawks organization for a new contract, and his absence from OTAs is an attempt to force the matter:
“Trying to get the contract right,’’ Bennett told Condotta. “I’ll be there shortly. I don’t know when I’ll be there. Depends on the team and stuff. See how it works out.
“Somewhere near the top seven at my position, top eight at my position. Not a lot of guys play inside and out (meaning both tackle and end). Not a lot of guys do what I do. So I feel like I should be somewhere near there… I just want to be in the realm of the guys that play like me. There are only so many guys that do what I do, and I would love to be like somewhere in there where they are at.’’
This echoes previous comments from the former undrafted free agent, who said he wouldn’t mind an increase in salary. This would also seemingly contradict a previous report that suggested that Bennett wanted out of Seattle. Bennett reaffirmed that he wants to stay in Seattle.
“I see myself being with the Seahawks. I think we have something special here and the things that we do in the community, the players that we have and the team and the coaches. I think it’s a great organization. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the business part of it, and sometimes people see your value as something else and sometimes you see your value as something different, and it’s just part of the business…We’ll see what happens. The ideal situation would be that I get a raise and that will be something great.’’
As Condotta notes, Bennett’s $7.125MM average annual value ranks him 14th among 4-3 defensive ends. The defensive lineman finished last season with 26 tackles and seven sacks, and he placed second among eligible 4-3 defensive ends in Pro Football Focus’ ranking of the position (subscription required).