The Seattle Seahawks rewarded veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett with a three-year extension worth $31.5 million, with $17.5 million guaranteed according to multiple reports that surfaced on Friday.
Per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bennett’s agents have been working on his deal for months, and as Rapoport notes, he’s inking the deal before the playoffs even start.
In Michael Bennett’s deal, he earns $16M in 2017 & $19M by Mar. 5 of 2018. His reps worked on it for months, cashed in huge before playoffs
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2016
Over the course of the next few seasons, Bennett will be earning $16 million in 2017, and $19 million by March 5, 2018. He previously signed a four-year extension worth $28.5 million following a successful rookie season with the Seahawks, but he apparently felt irked that with his performance, he wasn’t getting paid as much as other elite linemen and started publicly campaigning for a favorable new deal. According to Spotrac, his former deal tied him for 18th in the league among defensive ends.
At the end of the 2015 season when Bennett did not receive a new contract, he axed his agent, Drew Rosenhaus and hired Doug Hendrickson of Independent Sports.
Under his old deal, Michael Bennett was set to make $6 million in base salary next year, but he’ll be set to receive a significant pay increase in 2017 under his new deal.
Currently in the middle of a monstrous fourth season, Bennett has been an instrumental part in helping the defense become the eighth best in the league. He has the third most sacks on the team with four, the second most total yards lost on sacks, and the 13th most total tackles on the team with 32 in Seattle’s pursuit for a deep postseason run.
In his four years in the NFL, all with the Seahawks, Bennett has compiled 162 combined tackles, 29.5 sacks, and three fumble recoveries, one he returned for a touchdown, all statistics that are rightfully deemed by head coach Pete Carroll and the front office worthy of an expensive extension.
Bennett is cashing in at a great time in his career, one year over the wrong side of 30-years-old. The deal proves that Bennett is considered a very valuable member of the Seahawks defense, and that they appreciate his versatility, as he plays both tackle and end.
Seattle has clinched the NFC West with a record of 9-5-1, and they will be the only team from the division to appear in this season’s playoffs.
The Seahawks will head to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California to face the struggling San Francisco 49ers for the final game of the regular season.