Michael Bennett’s contract becomes more glaring

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Even before the 2016 offseason, it was clear that Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett had a grossly below-market deal. Now, with guys like Olivier Vernon, Fletcher Cox, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Von Miller signing huge new contracts, it’s even more obvious.

I just want to be fairly compensated with the top guys in the league,” Bennett told Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post. “I’m definitely one of the top five defensive ends.”

Currently, according to Schultz, Bennett occupies spot No. 27 in defensive lineman compensation. He enters the third season of a four-year, $28.5 million contract with a base salary of $4 million and a roster bonus of $1 million.

On one hand, Bennett willingly signed the deal at a time when he could have left the Seahawks and gone anywhere he wanted, following a Super Bowl-winning performance in his first year back with Seattle after four in Tampa. (He was a Seahawks in 2009, before joining Tampa Bay.) He chose to sign the contract, and the Seahawks have every right to insist that he fulfill it.

Still, Bennett was a part-time player in his first year with the team. After signing the new contract, the Seahawks began to use him more regularly than they had.

Last year, Bennett stayed away from the offseason program but didn’t boycott training camp. (He said his wife wouldn’t let him.)  This year, the increase in daily fines for players under contract who skip camp from $30,000 to $40,000 per day suggests that, once again, he’ll show up. His words suggest that, at a minimum, it makes sense to pay attention to whether he does.

“It is never-ending,” Bennett said. “Especially when people are getting new contracts every day. You sit there and you’re like, ‘Damn, really?’ I’m just to the point where it’s kind of like, if you don’t think I’m valuable, then just get rid of me.”

Bennett is now represented by Doug Hendrickson, who held running back Marshawn Lynch out of camp two years ago and eventually got an improved deal. It wouldn’t be a shock, then, if Hendrickson dusts off that same playbook.

45 responses to “Michael Bennett’s contract becomes more glaring

  1. Bennett is underpaid. Dude is a baller. And as a GB fan, I hope he holds out and Seattle is negatively impacted as a result. Better yet, I hope he holds out and management caves and screws their cap as a result.

    All fandom aside though, Bennett should be paid much more than he currently is.

  2. NFL should just stop making salaries public, just play out the contract you signed and suck it up. But that will never happen because the media will blow a gasket if they’re not getting every little bit of info

  3. Play for the deal you signed & you’ll get paid again next year. There’s plenty of cap space.

  4. Wow they are getting a steal, only paying this guy 5M this season. He probably could have made twice his current deal somewhere else, but hey, he signed it.

  5. He’s Right. Pay the Man. And please nobody with that idiotic argument that he willingly signed the contract. There is SUCH A THING as OUTPERFORMING your contract. Just like if Bennett were to UNDERPERFORM the Seahawks would cut him and say, “WHAT CONTRACT”?


  6. Seahawks will make him play out this year at his current salary, then pay him in the off season. He will have served 3 years of the contract, and John will reward him. Can’t see where they get # 27th ?? He is at-least in the top 10.

  7. If you think you should be so highly valued then don’t agree to a contract that underpays you. You had to sign your name on that contract, it’s not a one sided agreement.

  8. He’s on the Seahawks list to extend next year. He’s not dumb enough to old out, he’s more of a team guy and doesn’t want to do anything to risk the chance for a new contract in the next offseason. He knows he’s going to get paid. He’s just voicing that when his time comes the Hawks better come with the check book and ready.

  9. He’ll be 31 this season and isn’t a FA until after the ’18 season. Best he can do is be compliant and have the agent try to negotiate a 3 year extension to this deal that’ll take him to age 35 and a big salary that last year. Gives the team an “out” if he declines or is injured. Maybe a 3yr/$35Mil extension that would keep his cap # under $10Mil/yr?

  10. I’ve been saying it for a while now: it’s the end of line for Seattle. Carroll might be bailing out with the GM to LA next year, their o-line is hot garbage, Rawls might not be 100% when coming back, Wilson is worried about his “brand”, and now Bennett, again, is crying about his contract. They had a nice run. They took in a lot of new “fans” who will jump ship back to their old teams they used to root for, they got a super bowl, and called the dumbest play in all of sports. It was a good 4 year run, Seattle “fans” or Steelers, Pats, or whoever you normally root for. Now it’s time to back to being irrelevant again like you were before 2012. 7-9 at best this year and then it’s over.

  11. This is kind of his own made up problem. Chicago offered him more when he signed the contract to play in seattle. He didn’t want it, for his own right reasons, so that’s on him.

    Not going to be made to feel sorry for a man who makes his own decisions. And there you have the issues in america in one sentence.

  12. The funniest part about this whole story is the fact that Florio took it from the Huffington Post. They cover sports now? Their readers are finally tired of all the lefty news?

  13. Kinda tough when you sign a contract and then outperform it. But at least he is planning to do the right thing and not hold out, unlike Kam (the dumbest holdout ever) Chancellor. I’ll bet he and the hawks work something out in the off season next year.

  14. He averages like eight sacks per season. He’s above average, and that’s it. His production has not warranted top dollar for a DL.

  15. Or
    Honor the contract you signed.
    Bennett and chancellor will get extensions next year

  16. All these posters saying the player should honor the contract they sign. Well what about when owners cut a player, shouldn’t they honor the contract as well? Then again Trump is the Republican nominee so I really shouldn’t expect common sense anymore from some people.

  17. Keep the dream alive niners816. That’s all you’ve got right now though isn’t it? It must be sad when your team is so terrible that your only hope is that other teams will sink to your pathetic level.

  18. So…players/agents want the security of long terms contracts, yet they don’t like fact that next year’s contracts are going to be for more $. Doesn’t make sense. Cant have both. Why not just keep doing 1yr deals over and over if you feel lesser players are unfairly getting more than you.

  19. Tate was the one who said he’d take a hometown discount, Bennett said he wouldn’t

    In the end, Tate walked because he got more money elsewhere, and Bennett ended up taking a hometown discomfit.

    Pay the man

  20. “Every player should hold out for more money, throw their team under the bus, and demand to be paid a set percentage of the salary cap” -Mike Florio

  21. He is a bargain for sure.
    Cap wise Hawks are in good shape – Bennett will get rewarded next year if he stays on the plane he is on. Steve Hauska is the only free agent they may lose/ need to sign.
    Hawks are far from long in the tooth/ done. But Bennett is closer than others on roster.

  22. Drednok, how about “NOOOO”, lol… He’s under contract for another two seasons. We will pay him what he signed for, and we won’t give up one of our best players to another team to let them pay him. You dummy, lol. BTW, Revren… No Hawk has been caught using PEDs in almost 3 years, while other players from other teams keep getting suspended for doing so. Probably players from your favorite team. But hey, keep using a lame line from 3 seasons ago. It just makes you look that much more idiotic, hahaha.

  23. It might be interesting if in the next CBA some kind of buy-out clause could be negotiated. I don’t know what it would be but let’s say a player in his 3rd year of a 5 year contract wanted to call that his last year of the contract he could pay back his signing bonus times 125%. His contract would end then at the conclusion of that 3rd year.

  24. Looks like Florio’s found a new contract to follow and shove down our throats three times a day now that Vonnie has his deal done. Yippee!

  25. @bigblu73 says:
    He did when he signed that contract. To say players should get new contracts when they outperform the current contract is almost impossible due to salary cap restrictions. It’s like the new rash of NBA contracts…none of those guys are worth 1/2 of what they’re going to get.

  26. he’s not top 5 by a long shot…..money grubbing me 1st player always has been.If he weren’t so fat and full of himself he might actually be able to produce like Cameron Heyward….it’s funny cause Heyward is twice the player but get’s less money and hardly any fan fare..but the Steelers (who know how to win superbowls) wouldn’t let him go for 2 Michael Bennett’s that should tell the Seahawks (who know how to lose superbowls ) something, but the gum chewing lesbian head coach always feels like he knows better…

  27. This is why the NFLPA needs to negotiate a clause in the next CBA stating that the non-guaranteed status goes both ways. In other words, they need to negotiate so that the team and the player can sever the contract.

    From a legal standpoint, that’s only fair. As a fan, the chaos that would create would be really fun to watch.

  28. Bennett should file his retirement papers, and tell the Seahawks he’s staying retired until they come up with a new contract.

    That way the Seahawks can’t fine him for missing training camp.

    He can always unretire for the last few games of the season, which gives him the time to qualify for a year’s seniority, contract wise.

  29. I love how people comment about a team they watch maybe two or three times per year! Number of sacks is not the only measure of effectiveness. This guy is a disruptive force and deserves to be paid…just as soon as his current contract is up. If he had a really crappy year, is he really going to give back some of what the Hawks paid him? Of course not. You signed the contract. Play it out and then we’ll talk!

  30. It’s good to see so many others are so scared of the Seahawks that they hope Bennett ends up leaving the team. Here are some obvious things you’ve all missed:

    a) Bennett is underpaid.

    b) Bennett is under contract.

    c) A lot of bad teams with too much cap room have raised the average salary for less-than-average players over the last couple of years, which has created the disparity.

    d) A lot of salary stat-parsing going on. Bennett signed for 4 years/$28.5 million. You can slice that by average per year or by base salary for this year or by base + bonus, or by total guaranteed or by grand total, etc. In other words, you can make that say anything you want depending on what your agenda is, so it’s a waste of time to buy into it.

  31. I remember the times when Art Donovan of the Colts said that he, and most of his teammates loved the game so much, that even if they weren’t paid, most of them would still play for free….Whatever happened to that kind of love for the game ?? Both the NFL and the NFLPA make me sick
    with their greed..With so many real-life people struggling so hard to survive, maybe both sides should give 20 percent off the top to crippled children’s charities.. So much greed now.

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