Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is looking for a new contract after posting career highs in multiple categories in 2015.
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Conflicting Reports Surround Bennett Contract Negotiations
Monday, Feb. 29
Bennett's new team of agents have not met with the Seahawks, according to Gregg Bell of the News Tribune, who added free agents are the top priority at the moment.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Feb. 28 that Bennett's agents and the Seahawks had opened dialogue regarding a new contract.
Bennett on Long List of Seahawks Players Looking for Extension
Bennett, 30, has two years remaining on the four-year, $28.5 million contract he signed in 2014. He set a career high with 52 tackles and 10 sacks last season, earning a Pro Bowl berth and the game's defensive MVP award.
“He’s, in my opinion, probably the top defensive end in the NFL,” 49ers defensive end Joe Staley said, per John Boyle of the Seahawks' official website. “He does so many different things, so he’s hard to prepare for. It’s hard to describe it too, it’s kind of a slipperiness. It’s hard to get your hands on him. He does a good job of controlling his body and fighting off blocks and taking away your game plan against him.”
On the back of the best season of his career, Bennett has been pushing for a new deal behind the scenes. He fired agent Drew Rosenhaus in favor of Doug Hendrickson, who a year ago successfully negotiated a reworked deal for Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks paid Lynch an additional $5 million in 2015 as part of the renegotiation.
It's a gift and a curse being arguably the NFL's most talented team. In addition to Bennett, safety Kam Chancellor is also looking for a new contract. Chancellor and Bennett have both been angling for restructured deals since last offseason.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,’’ head coach Pete Carroll said, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “Really, the guys who are under contract can’t be the first-priority guys right now, in any order. We are really digging in, trying to keep our team together. And that will always be the way we go about it. We love Kam and Mike—the question, you brought that up—we love those guys. And we are going to do all we can to make sure they can stay with us.”
The Seahawks are already paying for big new contracts for Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner, so money is starting to get thin. Their recent run has been defined by their cheap young talent allowing for a depth-laden roster. As the best players continue pushing for their just pay, that depth is going to be the first thing to go.
If Bennett gets his wish, it'll come at the expense of someone elsewhere on the roster.
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