Just like last year, Michael Bennett is staying at home in Hawaii during Seattle’s offseason workout program. But, asked Thursday whether he will be at training camp, he said, “Why would I not be there?”
The question is pertinent because Bennett has been dissatisfied with his contract. He stayed away from OTAs last year, too, but returned in time for the mandatory minicamp in June, was present for all of training camp and then turned in his best NFL season.
All signs have pointed to Bennett not holding out, even though he has far outplayed the four-year, $28.5 million contract he signed in 2014.
During the interview on 710 ESPN, Bennett said he is training twice a day in Hawaii and he talked about returning to “championship mode.” He referenced NBA greats such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, and said he is trying to be “a great championship teammate.”
To that end, he talked about his mentorship of Frank Clark and the return of Chris Clemons, which he called “a classy move” by the team.
The team seems likely to do something with Bennett’s contract, which has two years left on it. Even if John Schneider does not move some money around — a la Marshawn Lynch — this year, the team seems likely to extend him before next season and bump his pay toward the going rate of $10 million a year.
The one question surrounding any extension: Will Bennett be too old? He will turn 31 in November.
But Bennett certainly is still getting better. He said he learned the secret to NFL longevity from Clemons and longtime Tampa Bay stars Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks. He said they taught him how to take care of his body and have a long career.
He said he switches up his training regimen every year, whether it’s swimming, boxing or something else to improve his conditioning.
The 30-year-old said his trainer said it looks like he’s getting younger. He said, “It’s because I’m taking care of my body better than I ever have, and that’s what prolongs your career.”
Bennett likely will return to the Seahawks for their mandatory minicamp June 14-16.
Listen to Bennett’s full interview with Justin & Gee on 710 ESPN.