The Seahawks should not get rid of Micheal Bennett
There is talk right now about DL Michael Bennett being traded to another team. Bennett has made it clear in the past that he did not expect to be back in 2018. In a press conference on Friday, Pete Carroll stated that he had not talked to Bennett “for a while” and that “conversations are going in all directions.” With that kind of evidence and ESPN espousing that the Hawks are talking to other teams at the NFL combine about trades, one has to wonder if #72 has played his last game here.
Bennett had a productive 2017 with 8.5 sacks–led the team. He also had off-sides penalties and political activism that has alienated him with the fanbase. While the off the field stuff doesn’t preclude his productivity, the question becomes if it is financially worth it to keep him around.
“We don’t get into people’s contracts [with the media], but I understand why that’s out there. It’s this time of the year,” GM Jon Schneider said. “… We’re just constantly talking to people all the time. Part of our challenge right now is — how do I say this appropriately? — is sustaining our level of success that we’ve had, and we’re just open to anything.”
Bennett will cost the Hawks around $7.4 million a year for the next 3 years, $5 million of which is dead money–the Hawks would owe him even if they cut him. So it will cost the Seattle a lot to get rid of him. So the question is do you cut ties and take your lumps or keep him and try to get some production out of him?
I am of the opinion that you continue to keep him. An unmotiviated Bennett was highly productive last year and if we were to tell him that is wanted there could be reparations in the relationship. The tank is not empty, even at his advanced age of 32.
More importantly, is if you get rid of him (cut him) we will carry a $5 million dollar albatross around our neck. The replacement player via free agency will cripple this team’s budget. And a replacement player via the draft is quite unlikely due to the lack of quality draft picks in the Hawks arsenal.
Most likely, Cliff Avril will never play for Seattle again, Sheldon Richardson may leave in free agency, and last year’s top draft pick Malik Mcdowell, will never play for the Hawks. We don’t have much in the way of defensive linemen left. Furthermore, if we trade Bennett we will get a marginal draft pick (according to the pundits) such as a 5-6th round draft pick. Perhaps Schneider could package a 5th and Bennett to get a 3rd round pick, but let’s not hold our breath. Several NFL owners are not lining up for a political activist on their team.
Because we are dealing with a socially active, highly paid, and north of 30 year old player, we can expect that teams will try to low-ball the Hawks. Because of this and because we have no one to waiting in the wings to replace him, then we need to consider keeping him and getting the most out of him. I say keep him for 2018 and squeeze as much as we can out of his fully capable body. Pete Carroll is a wizard at managing personalities–his silver tongue will sooth over any resentment or hard feelings.