The Seahawks are unlikely to use the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Bennett, writes Todd Dybas of the News Tribune. Bennett, who was part of a formidable defensive line featuring Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane, and Red Bryant, is a free agent after playing the 2013 season under a one-year, $4.8MM contract. Bennett has indicated he will not give the Super Bowl champions a discount in negotiations, which is understandable given his soft market after the 2012 season. That year, he finished with nine sacks and was rated the seventh-best 4-3 defensive end in football by Pro Football Focus, yet still was only able to garner the one-year deal with Seattle. Seahawks general manager John Schneider insisted Bennett will remain a priority. “He had a great season,” said Schneider. “Proved to be versatile. Is a great guy, a fun guy to be around. Hopefully we can get something worked out.”
A few more notes on the Seahawks, courtesy of Dybas’ piece:
- The Seahawks not only won’t use the franchise tag on Bennett, but they probably will not utilize it all.
- Schneider wouldn’t give any details on the status of coach Pete Carroll’s contract, which has one year remaining. Schneider, somewhat cryptically, stated Carroll is “doing great,” and refused to give any updates regarding tweaks in the head coach’s deal.
- The Seahawks will try to keep the “Legion of Boom” intact, but extending both cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas might be tricky. “We have days ahead that are going to be hard because they are going to be tough decisions,” said Schneider. “If you want to be a championship-caliber football team, you have to make those tough decisions. You can’t keep everybody. It’s actually a sad thing.” We previously noted that Thomas is likely to be the higher priority of the two.
- Regarding the draft, Schneider noted his aversion to need-based selections: “We’re not going to have this player, so we have to draft this position? I think that’s where you get in trouble. Any of the draft rooms I’ve ever been in, the biggest mistakes you make are when you [draft based on position scarcity].”
- Seattle’s draft meetings began the Wednesday following their Super Bowl victory, with more work being required than usual due to the large amount of declaring underclassmen.