Michael Bennett to test free agency

March 6th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

A lot of people are saying they never expected Bennett to re-sign in Seattle before March 11th.

I’m not one of those people.

In fact, I fully expected the Seahawks to get this done before free agency.

Why?

Because Bennett is absolutely crucial to what this team managed to do last year.

It’s easy to sit here as Super Bowl Champions and bask in the glory of that success.

It’s also easy to forget just how integral Bennett was in getting it done.

Think back to 2012. The Seahawks were good enough to make the Super Bowl that year too.

So what really let them down?

The total reliance on Chris Clemons to provide a pass rush. That’s what.

He essentially was the teams pass rush.

Bruce Irvin had been drafted in to help — and he did to a certain degree. He had a few sacks, he had some impact in a specialist role.

But on early downs, Clemons was the man they relied on. And Clemons alone.

He had 11.5 regular season sacks out of a total 36. Throw in Irvin’s eight as a rookie and they combined for 54%.

No other player had more than three sacks.

This isn’t one of those situations where the numbers don’t paint the true picture. Clemons was the only guy creating consistent pressure and Irvin had an impact in obvious passing situations.

The Seahawks lost four games in 2012 where a lengthy fourth quarter drive proved costly.

Arizona (week 1), Detroit (week 8), Miami (week 12) and Atlanta (playoffs).

The final defeat to Atlanta ended their season.

When they needed a stop, when they needed to get to Matt Ryan with seconds remaining…

They couldn’t.

Not with Clemons nursing an ACL injury by that point.

Seattle knew they had to improve the pass rush and that’s why they went out and added Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett a year ago.

They knew they’d only get them both on short term deals — and to some extent, it was inevitable we’d come to this position.

Yet Bennett had such a defining impact in 2013, I truly thought it’d be a case of ‘over my dead body’ he entered the market. In the same way Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman almost certainly won’t hit free agency next year.

He was a weekly feature in Greg Bedard’s ‘Pressure Point’ articles, ranking among the top-10 edge rushers in the NFL all year.

He only had 8.5 sacks for the season, but how many close calls stopped that being much more?

Remember the ‘low hit’ on Matt Ryan? That’s just one example of several ‘nearly’ sacks for Bennett.

He was relentless, impacting games on a weekly basis.

When the playoffs came around, he was nearly unstoppable. Teaming up with Cliff Avril to destroy one side of the line, they forced and collected fumbles against the Niners. It followed a victory over the Saints, where Bennett forced and recovered another fumble.

Who can forget the big touchdown against New Orleans in week 13, setting the tone for a one-sided destruction?

I said it a few times on here during the season, and I still believe it now. You can make an incredibly strong argument that Bennett was Seattle’s defensive MVP last season.

We all appreciate Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. A few weeks after the season ended, their stock couldn’t be higher.

But during the season, it was Bennett who had the biggest say in turning Seattle’s defense from accomplished to elite.

They looked for this guy for so long. They wanted Jason Jones to fill that void — he couldn’t.

Having seen what this defense was capable of, risking losing such an integral piece just seemed so unlikely that the Seahawks would probably be willing to pay a little more to avoid that consequence.

Anyone who doesn’t believe that — let’s see what happens when the Thomas and Sherman talks heat up. Because I’m willing to wager neither will hit the market, even if it costs a few more dollars.

Schematically I also thought they’d be willing to make sure Bennett stayed in Seattle.

Having cut Red Bryant, you could see his snaps increasing next year as an every down end — finding a way to keep that double team with Avril on the field for a significant number of snaps.

It’d be difficult to imagine a defensive line next year minus Bryant and Bennett — and let’s not forget Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald are also free agents.

A sea-change up front is not what this team needs right now.

There’s every chance Bennett does still re-sign in Seattle. Several other players (Bryant, Brandon Mebane) were allowed to test the market only to re-sign eventually.

If he’s looking for a deal worth $9-10m, he might end up disappointed. I have a hard time thinking Seattle wouldn’t be willing to go for $8-9m.

But there are a lot of teams out there with plenty of cap room. Oakland have an absolute mountain to spend. So do Jacksonville.

His brother Martellus Bennett has been campaigning for him to join Chicago for weeks. The Bears need to bolster their defense.

So there’s at least some chance Seattle will be without Bennett going forward.

I also doubt it’ll be in any way ‘easy’ to replace him if he moves on to pastures new.

Lamarr Houston has played some end in Oakland, but for me he’s always looked more comfortable as a three technique rushing the interior. He’s 6-3 with short arms and a squat 300lbs body.

Bennett is taller and longer, with 25lbs less bulk to shift around the field.

Houston has 16 sacks in four years. Bennett has 21.5 in his last three since becoming a regular starter.

Anyone expecting Houston to go flying round the edge like Bennett — it aint happening.

Ditto Henry Melton. Again, Bennett is a defensive end who can play inside. He’s not a three technique convert. That’s what Melton would be. He’s also coming back from a serious knee injury.

They could go out and sign Jared Allen. In fact I fully expect the Seahawks to have some interest there.

He’s taller than Bennett and a similar weight (270 vs 274), but he’s an orthodox defensive end. The good thing about Bennett is his ability to play tackle and end, so you can line him up inside without fear while also starting Clemons and Avril on the edge.

It’s going to be tough for Seattle to find a replacement early in the draft. Kony Ealy ran a similar forty time (4.91 vs 5.00) but had an explosive three cone drill. He has similar size.

And yet his tape is pretty underwhelming and there’s no guarantee he makes it to #32 or has a similar impact. Bennett’s pretty unique at what he does.

You also have to weigh up the cost factor here. If you sign one of the three free agents named above for a deal worth $5-6m, Clemons might have to be retained on his current contract.

Ian Rapoport seems to think so…

Clemons doesn’t have to accept a pay cut after all. Unless you want to risk losing him too, you might have to stomach the cap hit.

If you’re spending $9m on Clemons and $5-6m on a new free agent, would you be better or worse off by franchising Bennett for $13m, cutting Clemons and putting your faith in Benson Mayowa, a future draft pick (Marcus Smith?) or even re-signing O’Brien Schofield?

Or perhaps even reverting Irvin back to the LEO?

This isn’t a criticism, I’m just throwing it out there. Again, all things could become very clear if his market is cold again in free agency and they get him back on a cap-friendly contract.

The Seahawks aren’t going to make life difficult for themselves by overpaying one player. They have a structure they believe in, and a price in mind.

Yet losing Bennett would have a major detrimental impact on the defense.

The last thing they want to do is go back to relying on a single individual (eg Avril) for a pass rush. Even an Avril, Allen and Clemons trio would be a downgrade for me.

Having reached the top, Seattle needs to keep the core elite together.

I’d put Bennett very much in that group, and that’s why I figured he’d be kept at all costs. Taking away the intrigue of the open market, by putting the intrigue on a piece paper with a Seahawks logo at the top and the words ‘SIGN HERE’ at the bottom.

In other news…

Seahawks interest in Taylor Martinez?

The Nebraska quarterback is an intriguing prospect.

An incredible athlete, nobody really expects him to develop into a pro-passer at the next level.

Yet his size (6-1, 210lbs) and speed (electric) is worth some consideration at a different position.

I could definitely seem him being tried out at safety.

Kouandjio’s knee receives a thumbs up

I’m not sure if this news is enough to get him back into the first round mix, but it can only help Kouandjio’s dwindling stock.

Dr. Andrews’ backing doesn’t, however, provide any justification for his lousy display at the combine…

Go read this

Just a terrific piece by Danny Kelly at Field Gulls.

171 Responses to “Michael Bennett to test free agency”

  1. Nick says:

    I think this is it for the Michael Bennett era. A team like Oakland or Jacksonville ( Jacksonville especially given the similarity to the defensive scheme) with all that cap are going to give him anything he wants, and Seattle just can not match it. I wouldn’t rule out Chicago either with his brother playing there.

    Rob, do you think this means that maybe we should go aggressively after Michael Johnson? With the money we would be paying Bennett, we could probably use that to go after Johnson, and even though they are different players, it would still be a worth investment.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t want to replace Bennett with Johnson. For me, MJ is pure edge rush with some run stopping qualities.

      I’m not sure what they can do if Bennett walks. He’s unique.

      • KyleT says:

        Draft Zach Moore from concordia, I’m convinced he’s going to be a late round gem though I haven’t seen much film. His combine numbers are fantastic and really gets off the ball

        • KyleT says:

          His 10 yard split is the same as clowny’s, great size to become an outside inside guy like Bennett. I hope we draft him whether we keep Bennett or not.

      • Jarhead says:

        Rob, especially with the success that was on display during our playoff run, you know some team will overpay ($10-11 mil) for Bennett where he will also have the opportunity to be the feature defensive player. This league is full of pretenders and they believe championships are won in April (ie Tampa Bay). If Bennett decides he wants to play for another Super Bowl on Seattle, he assuredly will. If he just wants some cash in hand and in pocket, he will go to Palookaville, USA. We will adapt and find a way to make our defense work, I feel. As no one knew just how big of an impact Bennett would have, we may be able to find someone under the radar who will provide a similar unexpected impact

  2. David Ess says:

    Bennett is seeing what other teams are willing to pay, in the words of Danny Kelly from FG “he would be a moron to not do it”

    If he does leave i would rather the hawks go with Lamarr houston more so then Michael Johnson.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not sure I agree with DK there. His last foray into free agency didn’t exactly go to plan. It’s hard to turn down hard cash, unless Seattle is lowballing.

      I honestly thought they’d get this done, even if it meant the tag.

      • David Ess says:

        How dare you Rob, how dare you disagree with the great Daniel Kelly!, how dare youuuu.

        Love the page rob, always enjoy coming to this site to read your blog, hope you and your family are doing good. hope the baby is doing good aswell.

    • pqlqi says:

      Rob, I think this FO is fine letting it’s FAs test the waters. If the salary and benefits of playing for the Seahawks don’t outweigh the salary and benefits another team is offering, then the player should go to the other team. It is too late to apply the franchise tag, that day passed Monday. It tells me this team would rather be fair to it’s players, more fair than any other team in the NFL. They are even more than fair to players they cut, like Red Bryant and Sidney Rice, giving them fair warning, relatively early cuts (expecially for Rice who didn’t have a roster bonus pushing the move up) so they could work the FA market before it opens up to all the other FAs, calling them fantastic contributors who they would love to have back. The franchise tag is hated by players. Not franchising a player like Bennett carries a lot of weight in the locker room. It’s why NFL players would prefer to work for Pete Carroll over any other coach in the NFL.

      The benefit of letting players test the FA market is that the players who choose to stay here on a second deal really, really want to play for this team and coaching staff. If Bennett gets offered 55 million over 5 years somewhere else and leaves money on the table to stay here, you just absolutely know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is money well spent.

  3. Dirk says:

    1) Stay young
    2) Develop your talent and build through the draft
    3) Extend your young all-pro players
    4) Mine free agency for deals ala Bennett last year
    5) Use the team’s success to attract winners on team friendly deals

    Go Hawks

  4. Cysco says:

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m sure the Hawks put a solid and fair offer out there. Bennett owes it to himself to test and see if someone throws stupid money at him. If all the other offers are in the same ballpark, I’m sure he’ll return. If someone does throw stupid money at him, then good for Bennett. There will be other players out there.

  5. Belgaron says:

    This means the Seahawks didn’t back a truck of money up to his door. They are too well run to do that so this should come as a surprise to no one.

    He’ll be a first wave sign, either way we’ll know very soon after March 11. Once teams start committing money elsewhere offers disappear so he’ll use the leverage he has right away and get it done in Seattle or elsewhere.

  6. Madmark says:

    He said this isn’t COSCO. Heading to the doctors this morning Clayton was on the car radio saying that Bennett will probably be signing somewhere else since he’s not a home grown boy here in the NW. He also said that Golden Tate was more than likely to sign here where he began. In the brief discussion Clayton believed that Tate will resign with Seattle cause he has familiarity with Russel Wilson and that 68% of the passes go his way. I don’t think Bennett going to get what he wants from us and I’m fine with that. There are just to many teams out there with more cap room than us. At this time the Jets and Jaguars can pickup pieces to build there teams. I’m thinking if he leaves Jared Allen should be a real consideration.
    I just had to throw this out there but on Field Gulls website there a article that’s called “The Poison Pill” about Steve Hunchinson’s contract in 2005. Mike Holmgraham talks to Mitch Levy on radio and tells the whole story on what happen there and how it lead to the teams downfall. In Mikes own words he says that one position isn’t any more important than another when you have a hall of fame guy filling it.

  7. EdC says:

    Big MB fan, but I’m glad we didn’t overpay. That’s how organizations destroy themselves. Give JA 4/5 million for a year and hope JW and JH step up.

    GT no more than 4/5 million
    BG no more than 3 million
    WT no more than 1 million
    Sign JJones
    Sign JAllen
    Cut/Restructure ZMiller
    Cut/Restructure CC

    1st DL
    2nd WR/OL
    4th OL/WR
    5th CB

    • Rob Staton says:

      You think Jared Allen will accept 4-5m?

      I think he’ll want more than that.

      • EdC says:

        Don’t know, but he has made his money and as long as it’s fair (4 million for part time rusher seems fair) he wants to play for a winning organization. I hope that’s us.

        It doesn’t look like we will be signing any of FA. Everyone has their ring, now they want their money and other teams want the superbowl attitude.

        Tate – NYJ
        Bennett – JAX
        Giacomini – MIA

        • Rob Staton says:

          Hope all three of those players don’t leave. They’ll be tough to replace.

          • SHawn says:

            Bennett will be tough to replace. The other two we have already replaced. Of course, the replacements I am thinking of will then in turn need replacements, so you’re right anyway. As usual.

          • Jarhead says:

            I see probability with those three players leaving, but in Giac’s case, Rob you made a very strong case for the early drafting of Joel Bitonio. That at least is an ace in the hole. Tate I feel is a system receiver and he is smart- I feel like he understands that he can’t manufacture his own offense with physical gifts. He will be in Chris Johnson’s predicament if he chases money elsewhere. His team will be cutting his big contract in two years

      • Madmark says:

        I think Jared Allen might sign a contract 2 years 10 million front loaded of course.

        • dtrain says:

          JA plays the same position as Clem. He is a better pass rusher, only because he has played in a different system…basically, all he does is rush with long strides on all downs (relentlessly and well, I might add). He is not accountable to his gap in the way that the Hawks use the LEO. Clem is as good as it gets as a right side run defender AND can put up double digit sacks. He plays run downs from a gap integrity standpoint first, then comverts to a bull rush or inside move vs the pass. On passing downs, he is decent at getting the edge or countering–a poor man’s JA. While we’d all like to pay him less to have him stay, he is worth his salary in my opinion. I believe he is better than Allen in his all-around game…plus he is an enforcer/leader that we need with Red gone. He can play every down at a high level. JA is a pass rusher. He isn’t the complete package. Go back and watch the Hawks vs Vikes game from this year (I did in order to watch Griffen and Allen). JA was not a factor.

  8. zh93 says:

    I’m not totally sure how comp picks work, but if Bennet signs for 11/yr elsewhere would that get back a pick? If so is that a 3rd rounder?

    • Belgaron says:

      It would help a lot but its based on the net results. If Seattle signs a comparable player, it would be a wash. But if they lose more than they sign, they get some comp picks.

    • Rock says:

      Comp picks are determined from a secret formula that takes into account the net salary gains and losses in free agency. So, it depends on whether we sign somebody else in FA that offsets some or all of that $11 million.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Only if Seattle then don’t go out and sign someone at a big price to replace him.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      And that’s a 2015 comp pick. Not a 2014.

      Seattle would pretty much need to sign a 8-9 million dollar a year UFA to cancel out a Bennett deal.

      If Tate goes for 6, that’d be a 4th round qualifier most likely. It’ll depend on the contracts being doled out.

      • pqlqi says:

        we are likely to be highly net negative on FAs this season…

        6-7 round – McDonald, McDaniel, McQuistan, Maragos, Hauschka, McCoy, Browner
        5-6 round – Breno, Baldwin
        4-5 round – Tate
        3-4 round – Bennett

        If Bennett falls in the 3rd round salary range, I don’t think Seattle matches. If he’s in the 4th round range, I think Seattle keeps him.

        The same could be said of Breno, Baldwin, and Tate – the only reason they don’t sign these players is if the open market price is so high it equates to the higher pick.

        If Tate takes 8 million, Baldwin 6 million, Breno 5 million, and Bennett 11 million, all of which are reasonable, we would likely sign one mid tier FA from another team in the 5-7 million ranged, and that would result in compensatory picks in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds. I imagine the 6-7 round FAs would balance out or fall slightly in our favor, giving us an extra 7th as well.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          Yeah, I see a big net on the 2015 comp picks too.

          Baldwin isn’t eligible for a comp pick. He’s an RFA. Comps only go to UFAs. His qualifying tender requires a 2nd round pick. Although it’s possible we sign and trade for a 3rd this year. It would be a 2014 pick regardless.

          Bennett will be a 3rd rounder if he goes 9.5+ million. I would expect it would take that for us to not match him. He should be one of the highest paid UFA signings when you take into account quality and depth at other positions. Pass rush help is kind of scant this year. Whereas WR help is ripe.

          Also, if McDonald/McDaniel only get 7th round qualifiers — then we’re talking about 2M or less annually. It’s possible we resign them. Browner I suspect won’t even get a qualifying offer. He probably is under 1m considering his 4 game vacation. But one never knows.

  9. matt509 says:

    What about Keith Price in round 6-7 or even as a UDFA?

  10. oz says:

    The Hawks will not sell the farm for any one player. If they lose Bennett.(which I suspect they will) They will look in-house or the draft. How about one of those DT’s Rob has been mocking to the Hawks? I also think they would turn to free-agency a little more aggressively. I wonder if they could get Justin Tuck on the cheap? Hmmmm.

  11. The Ancient Mariner says:

    I thought I’d seen rumblings that Seattle offered Bennett a contract along the lines of Paul Kruger’s–in the 5 year, $40 million, $20 million guaranteed, range.

  12. Chavac says:

    Honestly I don’t think bennett was as vital as people make him to be. If you let him walk and sign Jared Allen I think you’re upgrading, and there’s enough good young talent on the line that someone will take advantage and step up in Training camp. if he resigns great if not I’m not losing sleep, there’s way way way too much talent on this D to get worked up about anyone not named Earl Thomas leaving.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Honestly I don’t think bennett was as vital as people make him to be.”

      He really was. He was incredibly vital.

      • troy says:

        True, however… How much of his success stems from our system and playing in a great DEF scheme, along side other guys that demand attention, the #1 secondary in the NFL? Im not trying to take anything away from him but lets put things into perspective. He had a very solid year, a lot of that credit is due to the guys on his left and right side but more importantly the ones that are covering his six.

    • kevin mullen says:

      You can put Bennett at the 5tech, 3tech, and even in the 1tech. He’s the wildcard in the deck. Dude’s legit.

      • Robert says:

        He was great for us. But for someone else he will be less productive. Our Legion covers better/longer than 31 other teams and that helps pass rushers immensely. And we have other great rushers in Clemons, Avril and McDonald that help Helped Bennett as well. If some team thinks they can just overpay Bennett and he’ll produce like he did for us, they are going to be dissapointed…

      • Brad says:

        So true Kevin,!atntimes we were playing 3 card Monty with opposing offenses

    • matt509 says:

      He really was. He was able to play any position on the line we wanted him to play. He also opened up Clemons and Avril all season long. Remember with the interior pressure the QB can’t step up and that opens the outside rush to wreak havoc like it did. You never really saw how great our pass rush could be until Bennett came here. He knows that and that’s why he’s trying to get more money.

  13. Hay stacker509 says:

    Rob, with MB leaving what are the chances we use what money was going to him to sign the McD’s to 2-3 yr contracts each? Then go after Jared Allen or MJ?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Allen/MJ not a direct replacement for me. They’re LEO’s in our system. If we lose Bennett, we’ll know about it.

      • SHawn says:

        The only guy on the roster to me right now (he is another FA) that could replace Bennetts role would be Clinton McDonald, although Im not sure how good he would be with his outside moves. A cpl options in the draft, but you never know how good these college kids are until they get to this level.

        • pqlqi says:

          Scruggs

          • SHawn says:

            I keep forgetting about Scruggs. He played really well in 2012 on limited snaps. If he has actually put on 25lb of muscle and kept his speed, he could be special. Like Michael Bennett special.

      • dtrain says:

        Well said. Melton is an example of a comparable role player (albeit w/o the ability to play LEO or the 5T). Bennett was a pass rushing 5T and 3T and a run down LEO. He is also as good a TEX stunt lineman as there is in the business…from either side of it.

  14. EdC says:

    I think MJ will be too expensive too. JA (4 million) for the outside rush and either Raji (GB) or Starks (MIA) (4 million) for the inside rush would work. We have to hope JW and JH step up this year.

    Rob, what do you think about J. Jones?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Jason Jones? Completely underwhelmed.

      Just another reminder why they need to make sure Bennett is re-signed.

      • EdC says:

        Sorry, no, WR James Jones for GB. Good size, speed. Gets to the ball. Wan hurt a bit last year but lead the league if TD year before

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m a bit wary of the ‘Rodges factor’. Is he a system guy who doesn’t have the same success when he doesn’t have the games best QB throwing him the ball?

    • zh93 says:

      I’d like to get Melton in here on a prove it deal. He could wreak some havoc on this defense.

      • dtrain says:

        Like an Avril deal…two years. So we don’t have to live through this same agony next Feb/March! Two years, 4.0M then 6.5M in 2015, guarantee year one and a 3M bonus…1.5 in dead next year if he doesn’t fit…what do you think?

        • zh93 says:

          I’m not sure if he is even able to pass a physical yet? So there is risk he just never plays at all. Though for 5mil/yr I’d take the risk.

  15. Andrew Kelly says:

    It will be a blow if he leaves. However, the Seahawks defense was elite in 2012 without him. #1 in scoring, #2 in DVOA. Of course it’d be preferable if he stayed but the 2012 defense was good enough to win the Super Bowl especially with a healthy Clem and the addition of Avril. Also what about Justin Tuck? He’s primarily and end but could fit MB’s role to a degree.

    • Colin says:

      By the end of the season, they were not elite. They were getting gashed in the run game and the pass rush was non existent. Bennett is a unique talent and I hope he stays.

      • Andrew Kelly says:

        I’d rather use a full body of work than how they played at the end. The body of work says elite. Historically great, like the ’13 version? No. As I said with a healthy Clemons and Cliff Avril that group would have been good enough to win. Of course I hope we manage to keep Bennett. My point is more that with or without him this unit should still be in the top 5 and able to hoist another Lombardi in 11 months.

        • Colin says:

          Well, the full body of work said the Seahawks were deeply lacking in pass rush in 2012, and Bennett provides a ton of versatility. I don’t think we can understate the value of good pass rush, and while you are correct this defense SHOULD be top 5 with or without Bennett, that’s not a player you just replace on a whim.

          • Andrew Kelly says:

            I agree. Bennett is awesome and I want to keep him. I think we probably offered him market rate for his production ~7-8 MM/year. He probably thinks he’s worth 10 MM/year or more. If someone wants to pay him like a top 5 DE then I’m glad we passed.

            • xo 1 says:

              Being rational sounds right, but a part of me wonders if the Hawks shouldn’t frontload the deal and get it done. NFL life is short and you have to go for the rings when they are there. Win Forever sounds nice but I don’t want to be the Patriots since 2004 – always kinda sorta contending but never winning. This year has highlighted the insane difference between winning the Lombardi and winning the conference. Multiple that difference by infinity to get the difference between winning the Lombardi and winning the NE Way – winning the division sometimes, grabbing a wild card slot sometimes and either way winning a playoff game or two.

              • plyka says:

                The Patriots have won 3 superbowls and been to 2 others, heavily favored in both. I think it’s a diservice to history to pretend as though the pre 2004 titles somehow don’t count and that there is a demarcation line before 2004 and after 2004. They were teh same team before and after, managed the same. They had success after. They obviously had success before. But nothing changed with how they manage the team from what I know.

  16. Colin says:

    Not surprised at all, and it’s not the end of the world. I doubt he’s going to Oakland or a Jacksonville unless the payday is MASSIVE- he’s not leaving Seattle for 500K more. Seattle’s in fine position to match offers until the price is too high.

    I hope he comes back, but you can’t destroy your cap for one guy. Richard and Earl are getting big paydays, and if we win the Super Bowl next year…. we’ll have to pay our QB to the tune of 2X defending Super Bowl champion …. boy that will make for an intriguing article!

  17. plyka says:

    I think that it is plainly obvious that Pete and JS disagree with your assessment. IF they agreed with you, they wouldn’t have allowed Bennett to test free agency. REmember how much they are paying AVril and Clemons and how much they paid Red last year. If they agreed with your assessment, they would have struck a deal or used the franchise tag.

    They don’t agree with your assessment, which is why Bennett is now testing free agency. They either don’t think he was the MVP of this team or that his production can be replicated with a cheaper option.

    They arent necessarily correct, but I tend to agree with them. His value is being exaggerated here. He is very good, but I would not rank him higher than Avril for instance. Or Wagner, or Kam or Sherm or Earl, or…well, you get the point.

    • Rob Staton says:

      For all we know they believe Bennett is just as good as I do and he’s asking for ridiculous money.

      I’d be shocked if they didn’t.

      So it’s not a case of agreeing or disagreeing. It’s a case of me being surprised at an event that has happened, and here’s the reason why.

      • Michael says:

        If they were so sold on Bennett as cant lose then they would have franchised him and then we wouldnt be having this conversation. Im sure they value him but they also have huge knowledge on his shoulder injury and we must believe they know what they are doing but letting him go to market. I can not believe that we are second guessing fo people on this issue. I am a huge fan of Bennett and Clements and I would choose Bennett based on age and visible upside. I have to believe that asking price/guarantee is to high or they are concerned with injury history like a Rice issue where he may miss time after signing a big contract. I dont know what they see out there as the best options to replace Red or Michael but we are not obviously seeing what they are going into camp.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Maybe they don’t want to use 13 million in cap space for one year of play?

          • Michael says:

            Well with Bennett they clearly dont believe he is “needed” enough to justify it because they didn’t franchise him.

      • plyka says:

        Would you have tagged him with the franchise tag? If he is the MVP of this team then you must franchise him.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I would’ve certainly considered it. The cost of keeping Bennett at $13m and cutting Clemons makes more sense to me than being forced to keep Clemons at $9m and then having to replace Bennett in free agency.

    • Colin says:

      Or they’ve offered him his fair share and he wants a bigger deal. So I wouldn’t go so far as to say “they don’t agree”. We have no idea what they do or don’t think.

      • plyka says:

        I’m sure they value him a lot, as I value him a lot. But if you value him as the MVP of this team, then you either come to an agreement or you franchise the kid.

        Just like Carolina did with Hardy. If the Hawks thought of Bennett as everyone in the world thinks of Hardy, it would have been the same result. That’s my only point.

        The Seahawks most likely see him as an incredible talent, but not worht the franchise tag money, thus not the MVP of the defense or team.

  18. David Mast says:

    He is a good player, but I can see a big drop off in production. He has his Ring and money(soon to be) just something about his personality tells me he won’t give it 100% anymore… I just have a feeling he will be one of those guys who signs a big contract and disappears

    • Madmark says:

      Like Mario Williams in Buffalo. You ever here about him anymore?

      • Radman says:

        Mario is still super. Profootballreference has him at his best AV season of his career last year. Second highest sack total of his career..more qb hurries than Bennett.. Dude is still a baller. He’s just super expensive and plays for a bad team no one pays attention to.

    • Robert says:

      Valuable talent…what would your fee be to video chat with me for a few minutes so you can complete your analysis and let me know if I have the fortitude to take my company global???

    • Ben2 says:

      Yeah, he was on a prove it contract and played intense football. I just don’t see the kind of intensity he displayed as something that can be turned off an on….I think he’s a competitor.

  19. Chuchaba says:

    Nice article.

    I want to point out that combine/pro day measurements point to Houston and Bennett as having almost exactly the same height and arm length (less than an inch difference for both). Houston is a superior athlete at a heavier weight, and though he may lack Bennett’s nack at getting to the passer, I’d far prefer him if (big if) he comes cheaper.

    He was absolutely incredible at Texas, and has produced in Oakland despite his poor supporting cast.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m a big fan of Houston’s, but I’ve always felt he’s better on the inside. Edge rushing isn’t him at his best for me. If we were looking for an orthodox three, I’d be all over it.

  20. kevin mullen says:

    I really hope this isn’t one of those ego-driven, which came first: chicken or egg arguments in regards to the successes of our DLine over the last two years. From the FO perspective: we brought these guys together collectively and coached them up for their specific roles in our scheme and from the players perspective: we ensured the results.

    Now my argument against our FO is that we haven’t developed a single DLineman that’s earning pro-bowls, let alone All-Pro’s. Every impact player has either been inherited (Red and Mebane) or signed via FA and trades: Clemons, Avril, Bennett, McDaniel, McDonald. JS hasn’t drafted well (and obviously jury is still out on Hill and Williams) but he’s missed more than hit: Scruggs (lost to injury for 2013), Irvin (changed positions), EJ Wilson (cut), Dexter Davis (cut), Lazarius Levingston (cut), Jaye Howard (cut), and Ty Powell (practice squad?).

    Point being, JS needs to swallow a little pride and pay Bennett because for how awful he drafts DLineman, he can sure find them via other teams. Bennett shouldn’t see the light of day come 3/11.

    • Colin says:

      “Point being, JS needs to swallow a little pride and pay Bennett because for how awful he drafts DLineman,”

      How awful? That’s way, way too strong of a term. They haven’t invested a ton of stock in the d line- I mean seriously, nearly all the guys you mentioned were late round picks, and the majority of late round picks just don’t pan out. Calling JS a terrible drafter of D lineman is just knee jerk reaction at its finest. Two D lineman drafted in the top 3 rounds in 4 years and he’s terrible at it? Cmon man. Do a little better than that.

      • kevin mullen says:

        Those guys were anywhere from (excluding Bruce) were from 3rd to 7th. That’s 9 picks over 4 drafts. That’s some serious investment. JS hasn’t drafted any of those DLineman that’s become more than practice squad, injury reserve, or cut from team entirely.

        Don’t get blinded by the facts, take off those John Schneider Underwear for a second. It’s ok to criticize where it’s due. And I love me some Schneideroos.

        • Colin says:

          I’m not going to call him ‘terrible’ for missing in rounds 5-7, which is where the majority of those guys you listed were drafted. That’s overstating the obvious. If he had a 1 and a 2 and a couple 4th there, I could understand that sentiment. But saying he’s terrible for ‘missing’ in rounds 5-7? Please. I guess every front office would then qualify as ‘terrible’ at a bazillion positions based on that thinking.

          • kevin mullen says:

            So, he’s able to find Sherman in 2011 in the 5th round? Maxwell in the 6th? Chancellor in the 5th? That’s 3/4 of our starting base DB’s.

            I’m not doubting JS, by all means I’m thankful of having a 1st world problem in regards to Schneidy’s draft. But I’m calling it out as I see it, JS hasn’t produced a single pro-bowl caliber DLineman since his tenure, in fact Bennett could be the closest if we open the wallet a little.

            This argument is a PRO Bennett signing before FA hits. I don’t want Bennett signing with another team know how versatile he is, we don’t have another DLineman like him, that can line up just about anywhere.

            • Belgaron says:

              You have to remember that Pro Bowls are based a bit on statistics and the Seahawks D-line plays a larger rotation than most teams meaning less snaps and less statistics for personal glory and pro bowls.

              Also, the difference between good teams and great teams is finding ways to make due with less in some areas because there isn’t enough time to acquire Pro Bowlers in every area for a run at the big prize. This regime inherited Mebane, Bryant and Daryl Tapp who they converted to Clemons. They built their approach around the strengths of these guys and there hasn’t been as many openings as they’ve filled in other positional groups; at the end of the day, the results speak for themselves.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          “Don’t get blinded by the facts” lol

      • kevin mullen says:

        Here’s some more stats: of the 39 draft picks available to JS, he’s drafted 23% for our DLine. Don’t say he hasn’t paid attention to our DLine, in fact, he’s drafted the same amount of DB’s in that time span, producing much better results. To call out JS for his “awful” picks for our DLine is warranted, just the same I would say he’s a genius when it comes to our DB’s.

        • Colin says:

          Pep Levingston, Davis, Greg Scruggs, jared Smith and Tyler Powell were all 7th round picks.
          Only Bruce Irvin was taken in round 1, Jordan Hill was taken in round 3, Jaye Howard in round 4 and Jesse Williams in round 5. Sorry, but when 4 of those 11 are taken in round 4 or higher, that does not constitute “awful” drafting of dlinemen. You are lucky to get anything out of the guys past the 4th round. Splitting hairs to say the least. “Underwhelming” might be a more appropriate term.

          • kevin mullen says:

            Even if we look at Irvin, a top15 pick, hasn’t done sh#t since being on this team. They even moved him to another position! So now, he’s not technically considered apart of the conversation of the the Dline. He’s become a backup Sam.

            And of all the players that started for 2013 DLine, not a single player he’s drafted over 4 years was on that field. Think about THAT for a second.

            • Robert says:

              I don’t like JS as much as I did before your posts. But in MY Seahawks fantasy, Boatright and Scruggs make us forget about Red and Bennett. They have both put on 20 lbs and worked hard to be ready for THEIR big opportunity. Boatright’s college film shows an unblockable holy terror that lives in the backfield. Hill could be great in the McDonald roll. Brooks was sensational last pre-season. Maybe we draft Tuitt or Hageman. And it all works out and our run stuffing, pass rushing DL is better than ever! And I like JS more than ever…

              • Robert says:

                Region of DOOOM!

              • kevin mullen says:

                Sorry man, those two haven’t produce results like JS’s FA acquisitions. Hope is a hell of a drug.

                • Robert says:

                  I always spend my off season doped up on hope. I never worry or get upset. That would be folly. And my approach worked – we won the Superbowl!

                  • Ben2 says:

                    I’m there with you Robert. I have high hopes for some Dlinemen emerging this year….not sure if all those dudes will, but if 2 can step up like McDonald did last year that would be awesome! Part of the problem with slime is that with all that mass on their legs/feet/knees they seem to get injured a lot which hampers the train of development that we see with our DBs. I think there are a couple if guys in the pipeline that will be good players for us – as Robert mentioned. That being said -pay the man! Our D became elite with the additions of Bennett and Avril. This is our Super Bowl window….I want a few more!

                • Michael (CLT) says:

                  FA is still GM work. JS is a great builder of teams. I will trust the process.

                  • Robert says:

                    Yep, me too. And I think a couple of the kids are going to step up big time this year!

                  • kevin mullen says:

                    And I completely agree, for every draft miss on DLine, he’s come up big in FA. I was merely stating the obvious: JS hasn’t produce an impact DLine player (draft only) during his tenure. He’s a better evaluator for free agents.

                    I’m saying that I cometely agree with article that JS needs to not let Bennett hit FA, next thing you know, he’s visiting SF and that would be disastrous.

                  • Belgaron says:

                    His evals showed up big in the trade acquisition as well in Clemons. Scruggs, Hill, and Williams all have a chance to redeem the record a bit if they break through this year.

                • Bam Bam says:

                  They have not produced because they are young players in their second and rookie year bennett did not put up the gaudy stats in his early years either and he turned out okay right?

                  I think our young D line are going to have their coming out season this year

                  and i also would not say irvin has not done s#it in his time 8 sacks his rookie year and then converting to play linebacker is a little more then s#it

                  • Robert says:

                    Coming out season…Yeaaah! I have hopefully speculated that they are developing Irvin patiently and methodically. He did a great job this year of playing disciplined and assignment correct football within our system…at a new position! Maybe that is a significant step in PC’s diabolical plan to create a Von Miller type of joker that he can deploy all over. He has eluded to this plan in pressers. I think next year we see Irvin running up and down the line pre-snap on passing downs. Disrupting all the Olinemen’s focus on their assignments, he’ll then suddenly pick a gap. If it works, he could be a very disruptive (pre-snap) pass rushing terror! Yep, that’s my prediction…

            • pqlqi says:

              The moment you start calling Schneider a failure at drafting DL because Scruggs suffered and ACL injury is the moment you lose all credibility.

    • Cysco says:

      Wait. Let me try to understand this. You’re saying that JS is terrible at drafting D-line? Compared to who? Name me the GM that is finding all-pro D-line players in the late rounds. Dude, you are sooooo spoiled. Just because he’s found all-pro players in the late rounds at other positions, but not D-line, he somehow isn’t good at drafting D-line. That’s some broken logic.

      If other teams were plucking pro-bowl D-lineman out of the mid/late rounds like candy and we weren’t then OK, you might have an argument. Have you considered that maybe those magical players just don’t exist? Or if they do, they’re grabbed by other teams?

      As far as swallowing pride and paying Bennett, what are you talking about? That’s ridiculous. You have no idea what the team has offered him. You’re just speculating that because he wants to test free agency that it must mean that JS is low balling him or something?

      The seahawks can’t force him to accept a deal.

      The dude wants to see if someone will offer him stupid money. That’s his right. He earned that right and he’s doing the smart thing. The Hawks probably offered him a fair deal. He wants to see if someone else will throw a crazy deal at him that would make him leave seattle. If jacksonville wants to throw 12-15mm a year at him then he should take that.

      He simply wants to see all the cards before making a decision. It’s not a knock on seattle of their offer.

      /rant

      • Radman says:

        good points there, Cysco. Also, it’s not unusual for interior D lineman from the mid rounds to take a few years to physically grow into the position. It’s a man’s game in there. Those who are able to impact on the D line right off the bat are typically top 10 picks. Most guys need to hit strength peaks and go through an NFL strength and conditioning regiment before they can really make an impact there.

  21. red says:

    Michael Brooks is one guy to watch in pre season he can be versatile as well not saying he is the answer to anything but he has potential to be Bennett lite. Also might see what the Bengals want for Dunlap also see Osi might get cut.

    • Robert says:

      He was pretty awesome at times last pre-season. And Kenneth Boatright put on 20 pounds last year and looked unblockable in college. He beat blockers with a myriad of moves, violent hands and great leverage.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      I agree. Brooks looked great against the Falcons (and during pre-season). Then again, most DL looked good against the 2013 Falcons.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think rather than have the potential to be Bennett, he’s more likely to be able to place Clinton McDonald.

      Big fan of Brooks.

  22. Nate says:

    Rob, in light of Bennet hitting free agancy what is your opinion of the Harvin trade and contract? I thought at the time we overpaid both on picks and contract. Now I feel like it might cost us Bennett plus a first and third round pick.

    • Robert says:

      Small sample size, but PH has dramatically altered our offense in his brief appearances. Next year our offense will be lethal with PH making plays and providing distraction with devastating consequences!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I understand the Harvin deal. They went for a home run on an elite player. If he stays healthy in 2014 (big ‘if’, I know) Seattle’s offense will reach new heights.

    • plyka says:

      There is a difference between going “all in” on an elite player and going all in on a VERY GOOD player.

      Percy is an elite player, he is in the top 5 playmakers in the league. Players like Calvin, Dez, Demarius, Adrian Peterson, AJ Green and perhaps Julio Jones. This is the group he is in. The elite of the elite at the RB/WR position. For a player like this, it makes sense, in my opinion, to go all in.

      As far as Bennett he is damn good! Very good. But let’s remember, the guy didn’t even make the pro bowl, and hasn’t made the pro bowl in his career. This is not due to injury like it is for Percy, this is because the league just didn’t think he was elite. I can name at least 15 players that play on the defensive line in the league who are clearly better than Bennett, we have 1 on this team, goes by the name of Avril.

      Let’s not overblow the man’s value. He is coming off a grea tyear, but he is not a full time player and had 8.5 sacks. Unlike other teams, opponents could not double team Bennett. Other great players on other etams get double and even triple teamed. He had that advantage here. He also had the advantage of not playing every down. There is a difference between being great in and of yourself, and being great because all the players around you are also very good.

  23. Cade says:

    –Life without Bennett–

    IF we did not re-sign Bennett we would still look pretty good in our DL.

    Edge rushers of Avril and Clemons (who was looking like his old self in playoffs).
    Re-sign McDonald who had a fantastic year at interior pass rush.
    Mebane is a beast at NT

    Shoot that’s a quality front four there.

    For Rotation and depth:
    We still have Hill, Scruggs, Irvin (at Leo), Williams, Mayowa and unknown rookie(s)

    If we loose Bennett I think we would be fine. It would be ideal to pick someone up in FA if that was a case as an insurance policy against Clemons potential regression.

    Yes it would be best to keep Bennett but the sky is not falling without him.

    • Belgaron says:

      Mebane improves over the course of the season because he plays into shape. It would be nice if he and Carpenter hit a treadmill this offseason and show up with some wheels instead of more fast food expansion. But Carpenter does get a bit of a pass for last offseason because he couldn’t run until the season started. He is in a contract season, maybe it’ll motivate him to tear it up.

      • plyka says:

        Poor guys may balloon into 500 pounds after their NFL careers. Mebane/Carp, put down the freakin fries and the shake!

  24. Cameron says:

    Rob,

    What are your thoughts on DeMarcus Ware if he’s released by the Cowboys? Good fit or no?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’s well past his best.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Heck-to-the-no. Not only is there no tread left on those tires, they have completely fallen off.

      • Michael M. says:

        I won’t argue that Ware is past his prime (just based on age), but is it possible that he would look better when he’s not surrounded by one of the worst defenses in the league?

  25. CC says:

    Every year a team overpays a player because they are desperate! Heck the Seahawks did it with Rice and probably with Miller. Bennett has now won a SB – and this is likely his only chance to get as much money as he can. I would suspect Seattle gave him a good offer – maybe 8-8.5 per year, but you can’t blame him for seeing if he can make more. I really want him back, but I think Petey and Johnny will figure it out – it will work out.

    • Belgaron says:

      On Rice, Minnesota thought they’d have him as an RFA for another year in 2011, but the CBA changed and they got the rug pulled from under them leaving a free agent 25 year old, one year removed from a 122 catch, 15.8 ypc, 8 TD season. There was competition to get him and Seattle was coming off a 7-9 season and didn’t have a top QB. Rarely do 5 year contracts work out for the team. They are designed to give the player a flashy number for the press release but it’s more about the guaranteed money which is gone after year 3. It was a shrewd move to pick him up and could have worked out much better for the Seahawks, it’s not really accurate to characterize it as desperate. If he had been 29, I’d agree but he had a lot going for him when they signed him.

  26. Michael (CLT) says:

    While I agree with the premise on Bennett, I also think about the fragility of football. Every player is one play away. Seattle will win or lose as a team. That said, Bennett has no peer.

  27. red says:

    Shaq Richardson CB ASU ran 4.4s with 38 inch vertical wonder why he was not invited to combine. Taylor Martinez ran in 4.3s for Nebreska pro day good athlete.

  28. Jon says:

    My problem with this is that we loose him for nothing. We could have franchised him and traded him for picks if he still refused to sign a long deal.

    Fact is we could not afford to pay him a Franchise Tag price, so actually keeping him on that tag would force our hands to be tied. I don’t like that we may in fact loose him, but more so I simply wish we could have gotten something for him.

    • Cysco says:

      There’s just simply no way that Seattle can afford to pay over $13-million for Bennett. Franchise tag just isn’t a n option. You’re not going to find a trade partner either. Why would jacksonville agree to give up picks to seattle when they know there is zero chance that seattle can keep bennett at that price.

      We just have to hope that seattle is offering him around 8-million a year and that other teams offer him 8-10. Then he’ll have a choice of staying in seattle or giving up all the additional perks of being a seahawk in exhcange for a few million more. If someone is offering 12+ million he could be looking at 10-million difference over the life of the contract.

      Winning superbowls is nice. and the Seahawks organization is awesome, but if someone says we’ll give you an extra 10-million to come play in oakland, how the hell do you say no? I think most people can suck down a few years of losing for an extra 10-million dollars. First world problems. heh

      • Rob Staton says:

        Theoretically the franchise tag was an option.

        $13m on Bennett and cut Clemons’ contract. Put your faith in Mayowa/Irvin to be the third rusher.

        Or pay Clemons $9m and replace Bennett with a player on $5-6m = $14-15m.

  29. Stuart says:

    What Cade said…

  30. Stuart says:

    Washington, Texas and Florida do not have a state tax.

    New York, California and Illinois do. That means you deduct another 10% off the top for that.

    $7M here=$7.7M there

    There will always be teams that overpay, let them…

    • CD says:

      I see this ”tax’ example used all the time, but its not 100% true. Read the following article which explains pro players (who even live in tax exempt states) are taxed for playing games in other states. So the Hawks players are taxed by California for playing San Fran in San Fran.

      While its not a whole season of tax, they still are a target andhave to pay.

      http://www.accountingweb.com/article/nfl-players-versus-irs-its-tough-tackle/222629

      • Robert says:

        What about factoring in potential endorsement revenues. It seems like a significant potential income stream that has much greater upside when you play for a winner and especially a nationally significant team.

  31. JeffC says:

    Why do I have a sinking feeling that this time next year we’ll be asking Rob: “Did you see that film on Joey Plumpbutt from University of Mars? He should fix our inside pass rush woes like Bennett used to.”

  32. House says:

    On Taylor Martinez: Remember when Marabou had to play placeholder and screwed up royally? At least if Martinez was in that situation, he could throw the ball forward vs. Side-arming it sideways. LOL

  33. Kenny Sloth says:

    Not sure if it means anything, but Quincy Enunwa draws a lot of PI’s.

    Rob, do you pay attention when Receivers draw lots of flags?

    Also, who else really liked that play when Kelvin Benjamin grabbed the back of Purifoy’s jersey and just ripped him back and got mad separation? Lol. I saw Enunwa smack the shit out of some Corner’s facemask hahaha I love this receiver class.

    • Robert says:

      CHEATER! I don’t want him on my team…LOL. Just kidding. I think KB would immediately solve our red zone doldrums and be a huge target on 3rd downs. Like Percy Harvin, but for different reasons, this kid is an absolute matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and will distract other player’s focus on their assignments as they try to cheat over and help.

  34. Wes says:

    I can’t imagine them losing Bennett, Bryant, McDaniel and McDonald in 1 offseason. That would be devastating after they worked so hard to fix the pass rush. I hope they do what it takes to sign Bennett. No way in hell do we make / win a Super Bowl last year without him.

    • Robert says:

      We still have the inside track on Bennett. I am curious who PCJS value more between the MC-D’s? McDonald had a great break out season, but Hill has a similar skillset, I believe. McDaniel is the tall 3T we covet and played great, as well. He might be more difficult to replace unless the FO thinks we should draft Tuitt or Hageman for the position.

  35. Kenny Sloth says:

    Watching Donte Moncrief makes me forget why I love football. He’s exactly what we don’t want in the NFL.

    Hope he ‘falls’ to the Niners in the late second.

    • Robert says:

      Can you be more specific?

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        He doesn’t fight at all. He doesn’t win, consequently. He body catches and has inconsistent hands when he uses them. Slow release, doesn’t beat press.

        I really just cannot even watch his tape.

        The only thing he has going for him is he’s a step faster and a touch bigger than the guys he’s playing against.

        • Robert says:

          Good, let’s masquerade as Seahawks insiders and start a hysterical Twitter barrage. Maybe we can trick the 9ers into blowing their pick on another WR dud..Bwahaha!

        • Kip Earlywine says:

          I actually like Moncrief for a patient team like Seattle. He’s got the hard to find things, but lacks the easy to coach things.

          With Wilson throwing those soft passes and Tate and Baldwin constantly being guilty of body catches while almost never dropping anything, I’m not overly concerned by body catching habits.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would tend to agree.

      Moncrief’s tape very frustrating.

  36. KyleT says:

    Love that DK piece…lets hear all the bold ignorant predictions for the seahawks to go BPA…oh wait they don’t use a vertical board…love it!

  37. Stuart says:

    My knowledge into round 6 is weak but I still grabbed some quality down there. This draft sight says my drafting ability is an E. Sure people could pick it apart but if the Seahawks had this draft, how could you not be thrilled?

    Your score is: 2481 (Drafting Ability: E, Player Quality C+, Future Draft Picks: N/A)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 32: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh (A-)
    Round 2 Pick 32: Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada (C+)
    Round 4 Pick 32: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (B+)
    Round 5 Pick 6: Brent Urban, DE, Virginia (D+)
    Round 6 Pick 4 (CLE): Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (F)
    Round 6 Pick 32: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon (D-)
    Round 7 Pick 1 (HOU): De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (C)
    Round 7 Pick 32: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (B)

  38. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Bennett was a difference maker last year.

    He is the player Pete has been looking for since he got here. Pay him. But keep searching for his replacement. If we find a successor, we can always terminate the deal. If not, we keep our window open.

    This really kind of strikes me as the Hutchinson thing all over again. If a guy is crucial to how you go about winning, you don’t become penny wise and pound foolish. Pay the going rate.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      I would suggest that guaranteed monies will be the larger indicator of interest than the perceived total value of a deal. 50M with 10M guaranteed is not the same as 20M with 15M guaranteed.

  39. EranUngar says:

    I’m not sure it’s time to get under the bed and cry yet….

    Yes, Bennett was the defensive MVP last year. He was exactly what we wanted and needed and did it all. Having said that, pass rushers benefit from each other. When Avril, Clem and Mcdonald are all charging and pressing the pocket it’s much easier for a Bennett to look unstoppable. With a hard jamming secondary forcing the QB to hold the ball longer it gets even better. Whoever gets to play that position next year will have all of the above working for him too. A lot of Bennett’s great work of the side came with Avril drawing a lot of attention right by him.

    If asked 3 months ago what would be the most urgent FA need it would be – Browner or Thurmond. Suddenly Max is there and it’s all good. Remember that when you evaluate what the FO has in mind.

    Being realistic about it – The Seahawks placed an offer on the table. I’m sure it’s a sane one. It’s not an insult but it’s not a bank breaking deal either. Until the 11th Bennett does not need to sign anything and should feel safe to see what talks bring starting on the 8th. He has an agent that cares more for his cut of a bigger deal then playing where his player enjoys. It makes sense they want to feel the market but after the 11th the hawks may choose to sign someone else to fill the gap and that safe offer on the table will be gone once they do.

    Another point to consider – The penny smart pound foolish argument works in many ways. Paying Bennett the extra penny (say 9-10M) is a statement. It will add pennies to every other contract the hawks are looking to sign. Pennies for Tate/Breno/Thurmond/McDonald pennies for Thomas and Sherman, pennies add up to pounds. Being a firm and responsible FO that does not act desperately is more important to the young SB champions then Bennett is.

    It’s not over yet. It’s not even close to over. I’m more surprised with the lack of action regarding Baldwin then i am regarding Bennett at this point.

  40. Dan says:

    I love Bennett so don’t take this the wrong way… but Jason Jones was doing admirably before his knees blew out in 2012. I don’t have the numbers on me but based off memory, the pass rush took a huge hit when he got hurt. If Jones doesn’t get hurt, Bennett may have never been signed in the first place.

    Having said that, I’m glad Bennett was signed. He’s obviously a better player than Jones. But it just goes to show that a cheaper FA can do an ‘OK’ job in Bennett’s role if push comes to shove.

    Bennett is awesome. He’s the glue that held the d-line (basically the entire defense) together. But my thinking is that his ROLE in the defense is what was so vital. If the FO can find someone on a cheaper deal to do the same thing, I’d take the hit on talent to save some cap room.

    • CD says:

      I disagree, I thought Jones was just okay. Jones wasn’t nearly as consistent getting near the QB and wasn’t as strong against the run. Not saying Jones was bad, but I think you are being tough on Bennett. The guy is going to get paid which is a sign he is considered one of the top players at his position, Jones wasn’t close to that even prior to his knee issues, he was a middle of the road guy.

      Also, Bennett has the better sack dance.

  41. Michael says:

    I think Bennet was the dline MVP but Chancellor was the defensive MVP. Look at snaps played and game changing plays Chancellor was way more involved than Bennett. I hope we keep Bennett but we can rotate other people into that lineup and still win games. If we are saying what is our best chance at a repeat is going same old guys going to keep the fire burning? Will pushing out the same four dlineman really keep teams guessing? I believe we can repeat without Bennett and that keeps ne calm.

  42. bigDhawk says:

    The signing of Chancellor last year seems to suggest the Seahawks are going to focus on keeping our historic secondary together, and will rotate players into the rest of the defense year to year. Let’s remember it took almost half a season before we finally figured out how to use Bennett/Avril/Clemons effectively, so it’s not like Bennett came in here and dominated from week one. Much of his success was the result of our rotation and scheme. As long as we keep bringing in hungry, upside players with pass rush ability on prove-it-type deals our scheme can adapt and get the pass rush we need in various ways, because our secondary is just that good.

    Earl and Sherm have to be paid. They make the rest of our defense work, including the pass rush. As good as Bennett was, he is easier to replace schematically than either Earl or Sherm. Signing a player like Bennett long term can not come at the cost of jeopardizing either Earl or Sherm. It will take a lot less time to figure out our pass rush with a player replacing Bennett than it would to figure out our secondary with players replacing either Earl or Sherm. If Bennett can not be retained reasonably, I am OK with him walking. I will trust JSPC to keep our potentially GOAT secondary together long-term and retool the front seven every season.

    • Robert says:

      I agree with our unique Safeties. Earl has video game quickness causing teams to fear the prospects of challenging us over the top. Kam owns the middle of the field and lights up intruders. But I am starting to wonder about our CB’s. I am curious to see if we can continue to develop awesome CB’s. Maxwell’s emergence really has me thinking that we might be able to consistently develop great CB’s that are very cost effective and ultimately generate draft capital when we trade them. Time will tell, but the evidence is starting to really add up!

      • bigDhawk says:

        I think we might be able to consistently develop pro-bowl CBs opposite Sherm. But Sherm has to be here. We can not lose Sherm and do it on both sides year in and year out, or at least no where near as effectively as we could if Sherm were here. Sherm is a PhD-level football mind with WR ball and route skills. He is so unique and as irreplaceable as ET3, imho. He makes our secondary work as much as ET3 does. Kam got paid. That tells me they have every intention of paying ET3 and Sherm as well. Letting Sherm go would be catastrophic.

  43. red says:

    Lemuel Jeanpierre just signed extension and so did Johnson this is good to lock up some depth for next year.

  44. red says:

    TE John Carlson signed with Arizona 2 years 4.6 M via Ian Rapaport