Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, the team’s top free agent priority, said today in an interview on “SiriusXM NFL Radio” with hosts Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon that early contract talks with the Seahawks “have been positive.”
“Obviously they want me to be a Seahawk for the rest of my career,” he said. “But everything plays into the numbers. Have to make sure everything is right.”
As expected, the Monday deadline for placing a franchise tag on a player came and went without the Seahawks using it — they have not used it since 2010 (on Olindo Mare).
Bennett said he knew last week the Seahawks would not use the franchise tag on him (recall that Seattle GM John Schneider said at the Combine the team would not use it on anyone). Bennett said he hadn’t been expecting to get the franchise tag placed on him because the team wants to work out a long-term deal.
“It’s not a bad thing,” he said. “Get a chance to make a long-term deal.”
Interestingly, Bennett indicated there was a chance something could happen in the next day or so with him getting a contract from the Seahawks, now that the franchise tag period has passed (for what it’s worth, he notes that he is in Seattle as he did the interview).
Bennett said his brother, Martellus, a tight end for the Bears, has been talking to him about joining him in Chicago.
But Bennett noted that that would only happen if the Bears also “open up their wallet” and that while that would be “a great feeling” he also is “looking forward to being a Seahawk.”
He also said on a couple occasions that being with a winning team would be a factor in his final decision.
The Seahawks cleared up lots of cap space on Friday with the releases of WR Sidney Rice and DE Red Bryant that will give them added flexibility in their attempts to keep Bennett (as well as WR Golden Tate and the rest of the team’s free agents, who all now will hit the market, with the free agent negotiating period officially beginning on Saturday).
Bennett was also a free agent last season, and ended up getting just a one-year deal with the Seahawks, which he said in the SiriusXM interview “was a little upsetting.” But he also said that ending up playing with the Seahawks and winning a Super Bowl “was one of the best things to ever happen to me.”
He said unlike last season when he fretted a lot about the process, this year he is taking the approach of not worrying about it.
“I’m not really worried about the outcome,” he said. “I know something great is going to happen whether it’s in Seattle or somewhere else.”