Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett will sign a lucrative three-year extension with the club this morning, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. Seattle already had Bennett signed through 2017, so the new extension will take Bennett through the 2020 season, with some of the new money incorporated into ’17.
The new three-year block is worth $31.5MM with $17.5MM in guarantees, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Perhaps more importantly, the cash flow on the deal is favorable for Bennett. He’ll earn $16MM of the deal in 2017 and $19MM in total by Mar. 5 of 2018.
Bennett has been a staple in the Seahawks’ front seven for years now and had an impressive consecutive games streak of 74 until knee trouble hampered him this season. In 2016, Bennett has appeared in only ten games, but he still has four sacks and 32 total tackles to his credit. Pro Football Focus has the 31-year-old ranked as the No. 9 edge defender in the NFL this year, ahead of notables such as Chandler Jones, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jadeveon Clowney, Olivier Vernon, and James Harrison.
Vernon set a surprising standard for 4-3 defensive ends like Bennett when he signed a five-year, $85MM contract with the Giants this past offseason. Bennett is four years older than Vernon, so it makes sense that he is not getting quite as much on his new deal. Instead of $17MM/year, his $10.5MM average annual value falls closer to the $11MM/year deal that Cameron Jordan got from the Saints last year.
The Texas A&M product is currently playing on the four-year, $28.5MM deal he signed prior to the 2014 season. Bennett made headlines when he began pushing for a new contract in the spring of 2015, just one year after he signed that team-friendly pact, but Seattle refused to re-open talks. This fall, with the deal winding down, the Seahawks and Bennett’s reps came to the table.
Bennett is now the latest key Seattle player to agree to a lengthy extension with the club, keeping the team’s core intact.
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