Yes, defensive lineman Michael Bennett wants to stay in Seattle. No, he’s not going to take a pay cut to do it.
In Bennett’s mind, he took the pay cut in 2013, signing a one-year, $5 million, bet-on-yourself contract in Seattle after the big money he wanted wasn’t available on the open market.
So if the Seahawks simply offer to give Bennett the same $5 million salary for each of the next three years, Bennett wouldn’t be thrilled with that.
“That would be taking a pay cut, to me,” Bennett told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday. “I had to prove myself as a player back-to-back years. Basically, I took a one year deal the year before, did a first-round tender in Tampa [as a restricted free agent], so I definitely just want to be paid. You know, I’m not trying to be the highest paid guy but I want to be compensated with the top guys.”
That precedent already has been set, by a member of his immediate family. In 2012, tight end Martellus Bennett signed a one-year deal with the Giants. And things went well (albeit without a Super Bowl ring). And then Martellus signed a long-term deal with the Bears.
So look for Michael Bennett to try to do the same thing. And if the Seahawks, who clearly want to keep him, don’t want to compensate him at the same level other teams do, Bennett’s stay in Seattle could end up being a short one.
In the end, who knows? It could end up being a Bennett brothers reunion with the Bears.