Seahawks should bring back Michael Bennett if he can (fill in the blank)
By Lee Vowell
Former Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is a free agent again. Should, or would, Seattle entertain a reunion with their former Pro Bowler?
The Seahawks, and I mean no disrespect but just pointing out the facts, absolutely wretched a gigantic furball when it came to sacks in 2019. A Pete Carroll defense should never finish 29th in the NFL in sacks. Yet, there Seattle was. Actually, they were next to last in sacks as they were tied at 29th and the last-place team was the Dolphins. Seattle had 28 sacks this past season. The league leader, the Steelers, had 54.
Of course, Seattle likes to sugarcoat its lack of sacks. Carroll might point to the philosophy that quarterback pressures are more important and layered with solid coverage negates sacks. That is complete crap. Sacks not only lose a down for an offense, but they also lose yardage. 3rd and 6 with good pressure and an incomplete pass looks a lot different than 3rd and 13 with a sack. (I didn’t make up that yardage. According to Football Perspective, the average yards lost per sack since 1993 is 6.5.)
Enter our old friend Michael Bennett. Bennett was once a stalwart on the Seahawks defensive line. In his five seasons with Seattle, he had 39 sacks. His lowest total with Seattle was in 2016 when he played 11 games and had just 5 sacks. This still would have led the 2019 Seahawks by a sack.
There are a few things that would be an issue with bringing back Bennett. One is that he is 34 years old. Still, he managed to have 6.5 sacks in total last year. That would be 2.5 more than Seattle’s best, Rasheem Green. Bennett would be a boost to Seattle’s pass rush, no matter if you love him or hate him.
Two is the issue he seemed to be in the locker room. There is a reason the Seahawks moved on from him: They were trying to get younger and Bennett seemed to be too outspoken for youthful Seattle players. Here is one important thing, though. Seattle made an effort to get rid of anti-Russell Wilson guys. Bennett was never one of those. He liked Wilson.
Seattle absolutely needs to make an effort to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney will cost a lot of money but with good help, Clowney will be even better in 2020. But Clowney also needs help, and to be fair it needs to come from someone not currently on the 2020 Seattle roster. Bring back Michael Bennett.
Bennett earned crap in 2019. His cap hit with the Cowboys was $2.7 million. He might ask for more than that, but if he is willing to take around that much, Bennett would be a steal for the Seahawks. Even if some dislike him, he was productive. And again, he liked Wilson and Wilson was OK with him.