Michael Bennett staying with Seattle Seahawks

Okay, now I’m surprised.

Defensive end Michael Bennett has agreed to a four year deal with the Seattle Seahawks for a total of $28.5 million, league sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal is structured so Bennett will earn $10 million in the first year, $6 in the second, $5 in the third, and $7.5 in his final year. So, just days after opting to go into free agency, Bennett has quickly re-signed with Seattle, leaving me more than a little stunned.Seattle Seahawks

When I heard Bennett was going into the free agent pool, I figured he would let teams begin a bidding war to get him the pay day he wanted. The interest from the Chicago Bears alone made me think Bennett, one of the top free agents overall, would let the price build. Now, I suppose his chances of winning another championship with Seattle outweighed his monetary wishes, after all, since it is reported by ESPN that other teams offered Bennett more money than Seattle.

Bennett still gets his desired increase from the $4.8 million he signed for last offseason; he’ll now get an average of $8.5 million a year, but what will really interest me is how much of the 34 is guaranteed money, and it doesn’t restrict GM John Schneider in his ability to keep re-signing and extending other key guys.

The 6’4” defensive lineman tweeted, “I’m back I’m happy super bow champ. The 12th Man is the biggest reason I came back the best fan.”Aside from his grammar issues (especially the misspelling of bowl), the sentiment is surely much appreciated by the 12th Man. The finality of Red Bryant’s departure is less of an emotional sting now that Bennett is back in Seattle. The defensive line that was such an asset to Seattle’s Super Bowl run is now fairly set.

So, the whirlwind of mystery surrounding Bennett’s destination has faded. Now what’s next for Seattle?

Golden Tate’s new deal will most likely be the next signing. Tate, like Bennett, is eager to stay a Seahawk and his willingness for a discount makes a new deal very likely in the coming days, with free agency officially starting at 4 PM ET tomorrow.

Beyond that, Seattle has numerous other guys to re-sign and extend. I’m not sure that one of the marquee contract extensions will happen sooner rather than later (I’m referring to the situations of Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Russell Wilson), as GM John Schneider will undoubtedly be concerned with retaining all the soon-to-be free agents from this championship team. But the one thing the 12th Man can be sure of is that the re-signing Bennett is only one of many moves to come from the Seahawks’ front office.

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