At this point, it seems pretty clear that the Seahawks are going to part ways with Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett — a stalwart of the best era in team history.
John Schneider reportedly is shopping Bennett at the Combine, apparently set on trying to get something for the 32-year-old while he still has some value — and before the Seahawks have to pay a $3 million roster bonus March 18.
Why would any team trade for him? Because he can still play — as his 8.5 sacks in 2017 amid a serious foot injury can attest. He also would be a cheap pickup this year, costing a team just $5.65 million. His salaries are just $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020 — and any acquiring team can get out with no cap ramifications.
Only contending teams are likely to be interested in a 32-year-old end. But Bennett is still playing at a high level and this is not considered a strong year for pass rushers in the draft. Teams will decide their opinions on that this weekend at the Combine.
With all of that in mind, here are some teams that might consider surrendering a mid-round pick (maybe a fourth) for Bennett:
Atlanta just cut Derrick Shelby, and Adrian Clayborn will be a free agent. Would Dan Quinn consider adding one of his former Seattle stars? “I think he has a couple good years left,” an NFC coach told ESPN.com. “I think he still has some juice. And he has that relationship with (Quinn).”
L.A. Chargers DC Gus Bradley, who coached Bennett in Seattle, could use the versatile rusher to play next to former Seattle teammate Brandon Mebane. With Bennett helping the dynamic duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers would be a powerful pass-rush front.
New England coach Bill Belichick loves versatile veterans and could really use a pass rusher, which the Patriots have lacked since trading Chandler Jones. How about a Bennett for Bennett deal (Michael’s brother, Martellus)? Or maybe Dwayne Allen?
New Orleans is knocking on the Super Bowl door and would get a big boost from adding a veteran rusher such as Bennett, especially if the Saints lose Alex Okafor in free agency.
Green Bay let Julius Peppers go last year and still needs to replace him. Bennett could give the Packers the inside-out pass rush they really need. Perhaps a deal for TE Lance Kendricks, who played for Brian Schottenheimer in St. Louis?
Carolina is losing Star Lotulelei and perhaps Peppers. The Panthers weren’t afraid to sign the 38-year-old Peppers, who led the team with 11 sacks. So why not the 32-year-old Bennett?