(2016 Cap hit = $7,000,000 in the 3
of a 4-year deal)
Nov 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Christine Michael (30) stiff arms Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) during the first half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
How can you not love Michael Bennett? Who else on earth doesn’t like Matt Stafford because he’s from Dallas – the place where “JFK, one of the greatest presidents, died at so I just have a little hatred towards him?” This cat once called a popular downtown steakhouse back that initially informed him they were booked solid that evening, told them he was Russell Wilson on the phone call and ultimately enjoyed a steak dinner later that evening with his family at the best table in the house.
For those and a lot of other reasons he’s a fan favorite. Mostly, though, because he’s really good at his job. Bennett spends each and every week slicing through and around the opposition to make big plays for his team. With Seattle for exactly 2.5 years since rejoining the team in 2013, Bennett has registered 100 tackles, 22 sacks (6.5 of them coming this year already), 3 forced fumbles and 24 stuffs. Oh, and one stolen police bicycle that he used to ride around the field after last year’s NFCC game.
Maybe most importantly, he hasn’t missed a game in the trenches in those 2.5 years. Great player, reliable player.
Bennett is currently the 11th highest paid 4-3 defensive end in professional football. Are there actually 10 players at that position better than him? No. Not even close. In 2016, his cap number actually drops $1M and his take-home salary is a relatively paltry $5M. That’s why he made noise this offseason about his contract, and I’d be surprised if something isn’t done (a cookie, as some would say) to pad that take-home number next year. Then again, he will have only completed 2 years of his current deal which runs for 4, so next offseason could be tricky for both player and organization.
For the purposes of this article, however, we assume the current numbers will apply. Considering Bennett makes less than half of what the very top 4-3 DE’s are paid, recognizing how great a player he is and has been since returning to Seattle, and knowing how important his production is to the overall success of the defense, it should be no wonder Michael Bennett is still one of the very best player values on the team.