There is no question that the Seahawks would like to have Bennett back. He was a key part of a defense that dominated the NFL throughout the season and crushed the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Bennett was certainly a great signing for the Seahawks in the offseason. It was a bit of a gamble since Bennett only signed a one-year deal. If Bennett provided a spark (which he did), the Seahawks had a shot at winning it all (which they did).
The one downside was that if Bennett had a good season (again, which he did), he would possibly be up for a big payday. Sensing a theme here?
Here is the challenge. Bennett is a great player, and versatile on the defensive line. However, he is 28 years old and a one-year deal is not going to get it done this time. The Seahawks have built a team on youth. The age of 28 is hardly ancient in the real world, but in the NFL world we are talking about the latter part of a career for many players.
This is argubly Bennett’s best chance of making good money that could sustain him for many years to come. After this contract, depending on the length, there may be few options.
Do you sign Bennett to a multi-year deal, knowing that you might cut him prior to the end of the contract? Bennett also has to know that this is a possibility, which is why he and his agent will focus on signing bonus and guaranteed money. If Bennett was in Major League Baseball, he would be shopping for a eight-year, $160 million deal right now.
Unfortunately for NFL players, contracts are not nearly as favorable on the gridiron.
This will test Seattle’s willingness to re-sign players that are not in the first few years of their career. The challenge for the Seahawks is that another team may want to make a “splash” and steal a key piece of the Seahawks defense at the same time.
Bennett’s comments suggest that he wants to stay with the Seahawks, but don’t players always say that? His comments about Walmart and Costco were chosen for a reason. It is called leverage.
Michael Bennett may be back next season, but the Seahawks may need to write a fairly large check to make it happen.