A year ago, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett signed a new four-year deal to stay with Seattle, after jumping to the Seahawks from the Buccaneers on a one-year contract. Now, he’s not happy with the contract he signed, and he’s not getting much sympathy from fans and the media.
On the surface, why should he? Bennett signed the contract as a free agent. If he wanted more, he should have asked for it then. Or he should have gone to a team that would have given it to him.
Bennett’s argument is falling on largely deaf ears because he’s making the wrong argument publicly. By talking recently about being signed to play one position but asked to play five, he’s getting closer to his best argument for more money.
Bennett’s best argument is that he signed the contract under the impression that he’d continue to be a part-time player, participating in roughly half the defensive snaps. Then, in the first year of his new contract, he became a full-time player, participating in nearly all of them.
During the 2014 regular season, Bennett didn’t have a problem with his increased workload.
“I like playing that much,” Bennett said, via Terry Blount of ESPN.com. “It doesn’t bother me. I’m just moving around a lot and trying to make as many plays as I can. . . . When they pay you a lot of money they want you on the field all the time. That’s just how it is.”
Despite what Bennett said in December, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the disparity between Bennett’s playing time in 2013 and his playing time in 2014 is a “big factor” in the stand Bennett has taken.
That likely won’t make the Seahawks any more likely to tear up the final three years of his four-year contract, but it could make some fans understand why he’s unhappy with his current compensation level, notwithstanding what he said in December.
And if only Bennett hadn’t said what he said in December, more people would buy Bennett’s best argument for more money.