Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is one of the best defensive players in the game today, and he’s my top-ranked free agent this offseason, just ahead of Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd. It looks like the Chicago Bears and Seahawks are locked into a legal tampering period bidding war for Bennett’s services, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier today that the Seahawks are the favorites to re-sign Bennett.
It’s always seemed like money would be the priority for Bennett this offseason, as he was severely low-balled last offseason after being grossly underrated and coming into the free agent market with a rotator cuff injury. The 28-year-old certainly isn’t undervalued this time around, and he is set to make the payday of his life. But the interesting thing is that he might make only about the same amount of money per year that Everson Griffen will make on the five-year deal he signed with the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, as the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Seahawks have offered him a four-year deal worth $8 million per year.
The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs also reports that the Seahawks are offering Bennett $8 million per year, but he adds that the Chicago Bears are offering $8.5 million per year, which makes things even more interesting. Bennett might not be as much about the money as we thought, because the Seahawks are considered the favorites despite offering less per year. And over a significant amount of time, $500,000 is a notable difference. I highly doubt this is the last we’ve heard of Bennett rumors relating to either team, but it just goes to show you how important winning and having a great organization can be. I wonder if the Seahawks will be willing to pay more, as they did release captain Red Bryant earlier this offseason to clear room and have always wanted to keep their elite DE around.