“If you don’t think I’m valuable, then just get rid of me.” — Michael Bennett
For over a year, Michael Bennett has made clear his dissatisfaction with his contract, which has steadily been overtaken by bigger deals — often to lesser players.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Bennett said, “I just want to be fairly compensated with the top guys in the league. I’m definitely one of the top five defensive ends.”
It’s the same stuff he has said all offseason. But he has grown more frustrated as he has watched a host of defensive linemen get big deals — capped by Von Miller’s recent $114.5 million contract. He also surely took note of the $11 million-per-year deal Doug Baldwin signed with the Hawks.
“It is never-ending, especially when people are getting new contracts every day,” said Bennett, in the third year of a four-year, $28.5 million deal. “You sit there and you’re like, ‘Damn, really?’ I’m just to the point where it’s kind of like, ‘If you don’t think I’m valuable, then just get rid of me.’”
Some will take that as him asking for a trade. But don’t believe it. Bennett was just blowing off some steam.
And don’t expect the Pro Bowl end to hold out when camp starts next week. After all, he didn’t hold out last year, even debunking a report that he had asked for a trade, and he has talked all this offseason about winning another Super Bowl. Recent pictures have shown him working out with teammate Cliff Avril and other NFL players in Hawaii.
Pete Carroll recently was in Hawaii as well to help Bennett with his football camp — something Bennett appreciated. You can bet Carroll and Bennett also talked, if ever so briefly, about his contract. And you can bet the coach asked him to be patient and wait until next year.
Carroll told The Post that the Seahawks have been “very disciplined” about how they handle contracts — witness Marshawn Lynch and Kam Chancellor — but he also said Bennett is “right” to be frustrated about his contract and the Hawks are “gonna make an effort — an effort so he remains a Seahawk.”