Report: Seahawks are looking to trade away Michael Bennett

An end of an era could be occurring at the Seattle Seahawks this offseason, as one of their defensive stars could be shipped out of the franchise this offseason, either via trade or being cut. That player is Michael Bennett.

According to ESPN, the Seahawks are looking to shop Bennett this offseason, bringing his time with the team to an end for the second time in his NFL career, this time though after five years.

The defensive lineman is coming off a productive season in Seattle, where he was second on the team in terms of sacks with 8.5. He only signed a three-year extension with the franchise in December 2016 as well, but he has already expressed doubts over his future with the Seahawks.

Bennett talked to The News Tribune about his Seahawks future after the team’s final game this season where he said that he “probably won’t be back next year.” 

When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was asked about these comments on Thursday from the scouting combine, he said: “I haven’t talked to Mike in a while now, but it’s the time of year, conversations going in all directions.”

The team has already communicated that they’re planning to cut Bennett, so it might be hard for them to trade. The player himself believes he will be released as well, so it looks like him not being back in Seattle in 2018 is all-but-confirmed.

Bennett has been a key part of the Seahawks’ defense since they picked him up for the second time in 2013, as he has recorded 39 sacks over the past five seasons. Seattle did originally sign the defensive lineman as an undrafted free agent in April 2009 before releasing him in October that same year.

He was claimed days after his release by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he stayed until the end of the 2012 season before being picked up once more by the Seahawks. As part of Seattle’s iconic defense, he earned three Pro Bowl call-ups from 2015 to 2017.

In the three years remaining on his contract, Bennett will have base salaries of $1.65 million, $6 million and $7.5 million. If the Seahawks can trade or release him before June 1, they would save roughly $2.2 million against the 2018 salary cap while incurring around $5.2 million in dead money charges. A trade or release is likely to come before March 18, when he is owed a $3 million roster bonus.

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