Schneider: Seahawks don’t intend to use franchise tag on Michael Bennett

AP

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider called re-signing defensive lineman Michael Bennett a “top priority” for the team this offseason.

But using the franchise tag to keep Bennett in Seattle doesn’t appear to be in Schneider’s plans.

“I don’t anticipate that, no,” Schneider said Thursday on the possibility of tagging Bennett at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Bennett had a standout season for Seattle after signing a one-year deal with the team in March. Teaming up with Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons, Bennett was virtually unblockable late in the season as his quickness off the snap caused problems for opposing offenses. Bennett finished the regular season with 8.5 sacks and added 1.5 sacks in the postseason as well.

After taking a “prove it” one-year deal, Bennett has made it no secret that he wants the best deal he can get in free agency, which could make it more difficult for Seattle to keep him.

We are going to try to do whatever we can possible to try to keep this core together and there are going to be tough decisions,” Schneider said, via Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times. “There are a lot of days ahead that are going to be hard because there are going to be tough decisions.

“But if you want to be a consistent, championship-caliber football team, you have to have those tough decisions made. You can’t keep everybody.”

Bennett may be the only real viable candidate for the Seahawks to use the franchise tag this season. They’ve used the tag only once in four seasons since Schneider and Pete Carroll took over the team in 2010 and that was on kicker Olindo Mare their first season with the franchise. If not Bennett, it could be the kicker position once again to get tagged. Steven Hauschka is set to be an unrestricted free agent next month and put together a very solid season for the Seahawks. Hauschka converted 33 of 35 field goal attempts with one miss being a blocked attempt. He also was a perfect 44 for 44 on extra point tries.

31 responses to “Schneider: Seahawks don’t intend to use franchise tag on Michael Bennett

  1. He’s overrated. Not to say he isn’t good, but no way is he worth the type of money I think he’s asking for. Cliff Avril was the biggest FA pass rusher they got. Better to draft someone or get a cheap vet looking for a ring.

  2. I remember once upon a time Pete Carroll said that keeping Matt Hasselbeck was a top priority, and before the next season started, he was in a Titans jersey. “Do whatever we can” and “tough decisions” is code for “you take what we’ll give you to stay on our Super Bowl winning team.” Bennett is good, no doubt, but if he goes, so be it. Next man up.

  3. I am not a GM but this move seems simple to me. Chris Clemons is still productive but at age 32 – 9 million is what he will get paid next year. Cutting another DE Clem you have 7 million extra non-Costco dollars for his replacement with only 2 million in dead money.

    John Schneider will make something happen. Even if Bennett goes I think we see more Bruce Irvin back at the Leo. I thought Bruce was playing well at LB but Malcolm Smith was flat out balling to close the year.

  4. unblockable??? he had decent post season… brooks from 49ers had the best post season this year amongst outside rushers…
    bennet is worth what he got last year… not more than that…

  5. The tag for a DE is around 13M this year. They won’t tag him. Seattle has around 3M in cap space now, and can free up a lot more by cutting guys like Rice, Clemons, and Miller if they want to throw a lot of money at Bennett. And they will have to if they want to keep him.

  6. If I was them I would let Bennett walk. Been hearing rumors about Jared Allen being a candidate to replace Bennett sign him to the same 1 year deal or maybe a 2 year deal like they did Avril.

  7. Bennett is gone. Rice and Miller should be cut.
    Extend Thomas and Tate. Franchise Huashka for 2 million. Draft a tall tight end.
    Irvin will likely Rush the passer more. Plug Mayowa in Bennets old spot. We might actually be better next season, with a tougher schedule

  8. They don’t intend to use the franchise tag on Bennett because they don’t think they will have to. Bennett proved his worth and wants to get paid; and the ‘Hawks will give him a nice raise–probably to $7.5 million a year. He might be able to command a little more than that, but getting $7.5 million a year and being on a team that has a legitimate chance for another Super Bowl and maybe even a dynasty has to be attractive, too. Is making $10-11 million a year on a terrible team with low morale really worth it if you can make $7.5 million a year on a champion? Guess we will see.

  9. I am a niner fan and I know everyone points to the Sherman int as the reason the niners lost the game.
    That INT might have never happened if Bennett hadn’t forced the fumble on the previous series AND ran it down inside the 20.
    He just makes plays. Much respect to him.

  10. He was mostly effective when the Hawks would go into a 3 DE set, with Clemons and Avril on the outside and rushing Bennett up the middle. Bennett is a great player but he was also going against Guards and Centers instead of Tackles like Clemons and Avril did.

    He’s also still due an operation on his shoulder, I unfortunately for him the open market isn’t going to be as lucrative as he thinks. I think there is a decent change the Hawks can resign him for 3yrs/5M per

  11. Bennett is the best inside pass rusher in the game. And yes, geniuses, if you watch that’s where his plays came from, the pass rushing DT spot. He’s worth a big money deal as long as the cap # can come in at around $7 million per year on a 3-5 year deal.

    Say good bye Red Bryant.

  12. I think he goes for the big money elsewhere. They are to smart to franchise him and will have other guys coming up that they should keep. My guess, he joins “hitner” and his brother on the Bears.

  13. The Seahawks will not Franchise anyone, as they usually don’t. Haushka isnt going to be franchised either, they will sign him. He isnt going to go from 600K to 3 Million (tag amount)

  14. come on back home to Houston Mike Bennett…your grew up here, and went to college at A&M….the Texans can use on the dl, especially if we draft Clowney…imagine JJ Watt, Clowney and yourself all beasting on the defensive front…what a nightmare for opposing offensives.

    .you can take the place of the aging Antonio Smith, who along with his $12M salary will be cut either in March or June 1st.

  15. Those who are saying overrated and/or replaceable didn’t watch the Hawks last season. Bennett had a great year. the combo of him and Avril is a huge reason this year’s version of the team won the SB instead of losing in the playoffs. Can’t underestimate pass rush.

    He’s not worth the DE franchise tag money ($12M+), but he definitely outplayed his $5M/yr deal. Hope they figure out space to re-sign him. Schneider’s right to say that he’s the top priority for this off-season. Then come the big guns in ’15 (wilson, thomas, sherman . . .).

  16. He’s worth a 3yr./$21m deal. $5m was a steal for his production.

    Anyone who disagrees needs to take a step back from fantasy numbers and actually watch some of the game.

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