The smoke between the Chicago Bears and impending free agent defensive end Michael Bennett has only grown recently, as they have the money to spend in order to bring in the top-notch playmaker to help out an awful Bears defense. This is a team that desperately needs to make a big splash on defense, and they will likely make a few big splashes. Although the Bears biggest needs are in the secondary, as Charles Tillman is an impending free agent and they had an incompetent safety duo in Chris Conte and Major Wright, the Bears could also use a top-notch pass rusher. Signing Bennett would achieve that goal, and they would release veteran DE Julius Peppers in order to bring him in.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Seattle Seahawks have “emerged as the favorite” to sign Bennett, so it sounds like they will be able to re-sign him after all. It will be interesting to see if the Seahawks are able to keep him off of the open market and re-sign him today, and it’s clear that their goal throughout the offseason has been to keep the superstar DE around. Although they have plenty of talent on the defensive line, they know that Bennett is special and will do what it takes to keep him around. It will take an awful lot of money to re-sign Bennett, but the Seahawks have the cash and cleared out plenty of space by releasing veteran run-stuffing DE Red Bryant earlier this offseason.
It’s possible that Bennett hits the open market and signs elsewhere, but I would be a tad surprised if the top-end pass rusher and run-stopper did not re-sign with the Seahawks at this point.