Report: Bears expect to sign Michael Bennett


A Bennett family reunion could be heading to Chicago.

A year after the Bears signed tight end Martellus Bennett, the team reportedly is in “strong pursuit” of Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

Two team officials told Briggs that the team expects to sign Bennett once the free agency period opens on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Bennett signed a one-year, $5 million deal in Seattle last year after hitting free agency as a member of the Buccaneers.  The Seahawks wanted to re-sign Bennett; a report from Super Bowl Sunday said they definitely would.

At this point, it looks like they won’t, barring an unexpected development.

It’s also possible that the acquisition of Bennett via a market deal will conclude defensive end Julius Peppers’ run with the Bears.  Signed on the first day of free agency four years ago, Peppers has an $18.1 million cap number and a $13.9 million salary.  If the Bears keep him at that number, they’ll have more than $40 million in 2014 cap space tied up in two players — Peppers and quarterback Jay Cutler, whose cap number is $22.5 million.

104 responses to “Report: Bears expect to sign Michael Bennett

  1. Thanks for the year Bennett. He got his ring, now he wants the paper. We understand. On nfl network he said he wants to set up his three daughters for life. Hawks wish you the best

  2. I’m a Bear fan, and while I feel he fits a need, teams that win in March generally don’t win the following Januarys and February

  3. That never-ending constant Seattle mist can wear down even the strongest of men and drive them to look for healthier places of employment.

  4. Not a done deal yet, but I hope they get him…And hey, if we’re dreaming big anyway, how ’bout Jared Allen, too?

    As for Julius, I will hate to see him go, but that cap hit is not worth the current production he provides.

  5. If this actually happens the bears can get Jernigan/Donald or trade back a few spots and get Pryor or Clinton Dix. In Emery we trust!

  6. The NFC North could be real interesting this year. Logical now being a Vikings’ “fan” aside, Zimmer had great defenses in Cincinnati without great talent, Trestman has another year with their offense and adding Bennett will be a coup, Green Bay has Rodgers (and Lacy), and Detroit still has a ton of weapons and maybe (doubtful) Caldwell will get Stafford over the hump. I’m ready for the season to start.

  7. Phil Emory is proving he will do what it takes to bring a winner to Chicago.
    With a better defense, and powerful offense, this could be the year they give Green Bay a run for their money.

  8. There’s no evidence the Seahawks won’t be fine without Bennett. John and Pete built the Seahawks to win for a long time and I have confidence they know what they’re doing. Let all these other teams over spend and get no where.

  9. I honestly hope they get him to take a pay cut (Peppers). It’s his best shot since his Carolina days to have someone on the other side that offenses have to worry about. It’ll open up more opportunities for them both. Plus, hopefully get Melton, too.

    …wishful thinking.

  10. Have to say, Emery doesn’t sit on his hands. They need pass rush help. Peppers fell off a cliff last year. Bushrod, Bennett, Slauson a year ago. He addresses the needs. Now get P-nut resigned.

  11. It will be interesting to see if they do or it this is another ploy to raise the stakes and get the Seahawks to pay more for him?

  12. The Bears care about winning; not making sure guys feelings aren’t hurt. I like Emery’s approach. I hope they pass on re signing Melton, and draft Donald or Jernigan. Melton stole over 8 mil last year. They could use his $$$ for better DBs

  13. I was expecting someone to overpay Michael Bennett. I realize that a player is only commensurate to his ability to find a willing suitor to pay whatever the market will bear. However, Michael Bennett logged just 8.5 sacks on the best defense in the NFL. Also, he played in perhaps the most advantageous Stadium in the NFL for a defensive lineman to score sacks and TFL’s because of the crowd noise taking away the snap count advantage that offenses have on the road. Also, Bennett is a benefactor of the best secondary in the game. Playing in front of; Sherman, Maxwell, Chancellor and Thomas, gives a defensive line sacks time to get to the quarterback and still Bennett only logged 8.5 sacks. Robert Mathis (19.5), Robert Quinn (19), Greg Hardy (15) and Mario Williams (13) (& 24 more w/>8.5) all logged more sacks than Bennett with varying worse defensive secondary units. I hate it when free agency bidding wars end-up over-paying players like Michael Bennett simply because that’s all that’s available for FA. If Bennett at 8.5 sacks his worth ($9-$12 million) what then is Mathis, Quinn, Williams and 24 other players with more sacks worth? You could also cite players like Riley Cooper, a marginal No.3 slot/wr (47 rec, 835 yds) being paid $6 million +. If that’s true, what is a superior, yet unheralded, slot receiver worth? like; Danny Woodhead (SD), Golden Tate & Doug Baldwin (SEA), Dexter McCluster (KC), Rod Streader (OAK) and Marvin Jones (CIN)? The bottom line is that as teams overpay marginal players it sets a new precedent to any player playing the same position, with similar or even better statistics. As Cleveland overpaid LB Paul Kruger from the Super Bowl winning Ravens of 2012, now any player better than him is going to make far more money even if they are less qualified. I’m sick of this and all it’s doing is making it difficult for teams to stay competitive.

  14. I guess we’ll see how that works out…
    Enjoy your ring, and your money Mike.
    Thanks for your help!
    Go Hawks!

  15. Don’t get me wrong. I really like Bennett, but he has Boozer written all over him. Good player but isn’t worth the contract. I really would have preferred a difference maker like Byrd if the Bears planned on making a splash.

  16. This is a great signing if it happens, I still want PEP back though with a better contract. It’s not fair to judge him on last season cause the guy had NO help and fault double team after double TEAM

  17. Common Michael! Don’t to an average team with “promise” every GM will promise. You know what you have in Seattle! You can win multiple Super Bowls in Seattle or stay in Chicago while they promise “next year” like they always do! You will always be remembered in Seattle but stick around with Hawks for while, good chance you win 2-3 more. You will always be a legend in Seattle! Don’t let your bro tell you what to do. You earned your worth, Hawks game you 2 chances while other teams (like the Bears) wouldn’t even look at you before 2013. Stay or go, we’ll win more Super Bowls. Just up to you if you wanna be a multi-millionaire on an elite team or a multi multi millionaire on a team in flux. Hope you’re part of future!

  18. Sadly if this happens the Bears will overpay to do so and probably end up regretting this deal down the road just like the Julius Peppers deal.

    He played solid with a deep and very talented Seattle defense in a contract year. How will it translate when he’s “the guy”?

    Peppers is pretty much gone regardless what happens and overpaying for Bennett means Melton and Wooten won’t be back either. Even if they get line help in round 1 of the draft, a rookie and what they have before signing Bennett isn’t that impressive.

    How effective will the D be when they double team him and nobody else steps up. Bears fan here, but weary of this happening.

  19. Looking forward to having a pass rush again and I won’t miss Peppers one bit. I do hope that we’re not breaking the bank on him. He was great last year but he’s not really an all timer or anything so hopefully they are getting him at a fair price and will be able to spread the rest of Peppers contract around to another defender.

  20. Feel free to overpay for a guy who’s only ever performed in a contract year, Chicago. The Seahawks will be glad to take Jared Allen and his 11.5 sacks instead.

  21. And the Bears expect Jay Cutler to be an elite QB, the Bears also expect to win the north every year, the Bears expect to win the Superbowl every year. None of which come to fruition. Neither will MBennett.

  22. Wonderful Move By P.E. & Friends! Here’s A Few More Signings I’m Hoping For….(Preferred/Secondary) TILLMAN, Byrd/Ward, Daryl Smith/Spikes, DRC/Cromartie. Wouldn’t Mind Releasing Bush Either. Also I Think Signing Champ Baily To A Non Guaranteed Incentive Laced Contract. We Can Try Him At Safety To Push Conte Or Take His Spot All Together haha It’s Low Risk High Reward.

  23. Thanks for everything MB, along with Avril, the final part of the defensive final puzzle that gave less time for the opposing QB to decide whether to throw at the athletic young, tough SEA linebackers, or dare their luck to throw into the all pro secondary.

    Onwards and upwards, probably, with Jared Allen at that position. An almost full offseason with a proper organization with proper management, coaches, teammates, and practicing, along with a good dose of showering, means that he should have the Viking taint off of him by the time pre-season comes around.

  24. With Peppers on the team, the Bears have 8mil in cap room. But a LOT of work to do even if they add Bennett. But if they release Peppers who will they replace him? Sounds easier said than done. Hopefully he will restructure his contract and stay though.

  25. FA bust written all over this one. At a reasonable salary as part of a rotation on one of the best front 7’s in the NFL he’s a nice fit. As a #1? Buyer beware.

  26. I would think that his chances of success and winning another ring are more with Seattle than Chicago. Should stay in Seattle on that account alone, especially if he gets a 6.5 to 8 million per year deal over the next 3 years.

  27. He’d re-sign with Seattle if they offered him more than what the Bears are offering. He’s looking for the biggest payday he can get.

  28. Whether or not the Bears get him, they are still better than that dumpster fire of a team that thepftpoet and thevikesarebest root for.

  29. Red Bryant is already gone, and Michael Bennett is likely to leave as well. Like I said before, the way to win in the NFL now is to load up for a small window to make a championship run, and then have to face the reality that the team will have to break up eventually. The Ravens happened to be the first team to go through this last year, and the Seahawks are facing that prospect now too.

  30. If you get him at about 8 mil/yr., jettison Peppers and do some contract restructuring with Culter’s deal, you could still go out get some safety help, cut Bush and give his money to Sproles, then your FA season would be complete.

  31. I don’t think he ever really wanted to play with Seattle. He did a good job while he was here, but his heart was always in Chicago. Hope he enjoys the ring…it’ll probably be the last one he ever gets.

  32. Would like to see Julius stay and attempt to again produce at an all-pro level, but that’s a huge cap number for a gamble. Good luck Julius, wherever you play!

  33. This seemed like a done deal once MB turned down the offer the Hawks last week. He was very good and its tough to loose a guy like that but he’s got his ring and his contract. Due to that fact he may not be hungry anymore Hawk fans so lets see how Jared Allen does :). we have depth and there are a lot of good tackles we can pick for reasonable money. We must plan for RW, ET and RS. So if it means we pay Allen 5mil and not have to pay MB 10mil then thats ok.

  34. Bears fans get excited for this but they still have Jay Cutler throwing passes… you know 7 years of the QB that was outplayed by his backup??? Just saying.

  35. southpaw2k says:
    Mar 10, 2014 8:42 AM
    Red Bryant is already gone, and Michael Bennett is likely to leave as well. Like I said before, the way to win in the NFL now is to load up for a small window to make a championship run, and then have to face the reality that the team will have to break up eventually. The Ravens happened to be the first team to go through this last year, and the Seahawks are facing that prospect now too.

    No, the Ravens had to dump players to pay one guy Flacco. The Saints are going through the same to pay Jimmy- “Jimmy says show me the money!”
    The Hawks are not going to give all their money to Bennett. The Hawks D is still pretty deep. Yes, the salary cap affects everyone it just depends how many older your players have. The Hawks are still a young team,
    You may get to say that when the Hawks have to pay Wilson in a couple of years…

  36. WACANHFL says:
    Mar 10, 2014 9:40 AM
    southpaw2k says:
    Mar 10, 2014 8:42 AM

    No, the Ravens had to dump players to pay one guy Flacco. The Saints are going through the same to pay Jimmy- “Jimmy says show me the money!”
    The Hawks are not going to give all their money to Bennett. The Hawks D is still pretty deep. Yes, the salary cap affects everyone it just depends how many older your players have. The Hawks are still a young team,
    You may get to say that when the Hawks have to pay Wilson in a couple of years…


    Once again, the truth escapes most people. Nobody seems to remember or care that the Ravens actually wanted to keep Anquan Boldin. They just didn’t want to pay him $6 million because he was 32 years old at the time, and wasn’t playing up to market value. He wasn’t willing to take a pay cut, so they shipped him off to San Fran.

    As for the rest of the guys who left the Ravens last year, how many of them have really produced with their new teams? Ed Reed was cut by the Texans, and most everyone agrees he’s done; Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe were both insanely overpaid; and Bernard Pollard was both too expensive and much too prone to personal foul calls. No one can possibly argue that the Ravens would have been better off keeping any of those guys in 2013.

    But hey, don’t let facts or logic get in the way of your thinking. It’s all Flacco’s fault.

  37. Seattle fans should remember Bennett took a sub-market one year deal to win a title with Seattle last year. His risky (if he gets hurt he might never get paid) gamble paid off in both ways, boosting his market value and getting him a title. It’s tough to blame him for looking at the financials this time, especially when the team with the high bid has his brother on it.

  38. I knew the minute he said this wasn’t “costco” and asked for 10-12 million a year he was a goner in seattle. We didn’t win the title by paying a RIDICULOUS PRICE for a product of our defense!!! We signed CLIFF AVRIL to a TWO YEAR deal worth 12 million. And we will find another just like him. The bears just don’t get it. But as for me Bennett, truly loved watching him play and while he wants to set his daughters up for life this was the LAST TIME he will be even remotely close to SNIFFING that Lombardi trophy playing for that TRAVESTY of an organization known as the BEARS!!! Good news Michael. You will be able to drive that fancy sports car you buy for a whole extra month while your old teammates dominate the playoffs for the next DECADE!!!!! Happy house hunting mike!!!! NEXT MAN UP FOR THE WORLD CHAMPS!!!!!

    Go hawks!!!!!

  39. Someone mentioned Chicago paying him 8mil/yr… he is a Seahawk if that is the best offer. I’m sure Seattle would pay him that. It is going to be interesting how aggressive teams get this year based on the knowledge that the cap could be at 145 mil in 2015 and 160 mil in 2016. I think you can offer some good coin and still have some room to work in the future.

    Based on last year there will still be a bunch of DE’s for higher once the spending spree is over. Seattle will find guys to plug in and not break the bank. It is always good to get guys on one year contracts.

  40. Just wait until one Bennett doesn’t like the way the other Bennett is being treated, and they both go in the tank!

  41. vikescry1 says:
    Mar 10, 2014 9:17 AM
    Bears fans get excited for this but they still have Jay Cutler throwing passes… you know 7 years of the QB that was outplayed by his backup??? Just saying.


    Cutler is better than any QB on the Vikes since Farve! Dude you’re a Vikings fan, just saying!

  42. While Emery has done some good things in Chicago, he’s way overpaid in FA, last year he paid way too much money for an avg Bushrod, and the year prior he way overpaid for Micheal Bush. This year he’s going to overpay for Bennett. Not to mention he overpaid for Cutler.

  43. Careers are short and, depending on the type of injury and, how many injuries one has, the effects of the NFL can last a lifetime. It also effects the players family, as the may need to do more to care for the player after football.

    I don’t begrudge most, as some truly don’t deserve it, getting the big pay day when they can.

    Bennett…thanks for helping bring the first one to Seattle. It is greatly appreciated!

  44. I’m sure after winning the Super Bowl and getting a big payday, Mr. Bennett will be highly motivated to play to the dominating level he’s paid to be.

    On second thought, restructuring Peppers might be a better solution.

  45. If this turns out to happen, I think it will be a good thing for the Bears. As for Peppers, unless he agrees to take a huge paycut, he will be cut . One more thing about Peppers, up til last year, the guy has been worth the contract. The problem this year is the 18 million dollar cap hit , his age and his average year, which is a fall off from his usual production. His signing was not a bad signing at all and the Bears got a good deal from signing him. IF the Bears do get Bennett and they get the same style of results from him as they got from Peppers, the signing will be a success.

  46. I understand playing for money, what happened to playing for the love of game.. Seattle can easily be a dynasty, why would you want to leave the best NFL fans to go to Chicago? Just makes no sense

  47. This guy was a beast, but so was Clay Matthews until he became THE guy.

    We’ll see, but this sounds like a reach if you’re throwing the keys to the bank at him.

  48. “The best NFL fans” ?? That is a joke, it is simple, IF he leaves he is coming to a winner , to play with his brother , a great city and fans , and a far classier team

  49. Seahawks are funny the man who help y’all win a SB and all of sudden your questioning why he don’t want to stay.. It easy kuz the seahawk ain’t repeating or winning multiple SB anytime soon and beside he want to be payed

  50. Michael Bennett had a great year in Seattle but much of that was due to the tremendous depth they had. Bennett only played 569 snaps last year compared to 961 the year before in Tampa.

    This allowed him to remain very fresh and stay healthy. Chicago isn’t going to sign him to the big money contract as a part time player…they will throw him out there on every play. Subsequently, I expect Bennett to wear down and he won’t be the dominant force Bears fans expect him to be.

    Props to Bennett if this rumored signing goes through. He is getting paid and I don’t blame him a bit. However, I am glad Seattle isn’t going to buckle and overpay him. He can be replaced in the system Seattle runs.

    In Schneider We Trust

  51. Seattle can easily move Irvin back to Leo and let him rotate with Clemons…or sign Jared Allen to a 1 year contract for 5m. With Bennett leaving it permits Seattle to keep Tate, Hauschka and lots of back end players that are essential to another superbowl run. They’ll probably be able to get Thomas to sign an extension too

  52. He’s going to re-sign in Seattle. For all of you “experts” (jealous Packer fans) saying Bennett isn’t that good, well, Seattle looks like they’re doing what they can to keep him. He must be pretty decent if they want him back that bad…

  53. The Bears are making a run at him. Not surprising, but that doesn’t automatically mean they are going to get him.

    If Bennett is willing to “settle” for a contract similar to that of Clemons, @$8.5 mil per year, he might still be around next season.

    We’ll soon find out, I guess. I haven’t heard any other teams being mentioned, so Bennett may not be that hot a commodity. No knock on the Bears, but Seattle seems to be the best shot for Bennett if he wants another ring. Or two.

    Either way, I doubt if his daughter are ever going to have to rely on food stamps to get by any time soon.

    Go Hawks!

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