According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegraph's Clarence Hill, Seahawks defensive tackle Michael Bennett is seeking a trade (and a new contract) to the Falcons, ostensibly to reunite with Dan Quinn. This is obviously shocking news coming a year after Bennett signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Seahawks. As of right now, the Seahawks are saying this report is "news to them" and that they haven't heard this from Bennett nor his agent. ESPN's Danny O'Neil also denied that Bennett has asked for a trade.
Regardless, teams often deny these types of things during negotiations so let's just humor this report: If it is indeed true --it would speak to Bennett's distaste of his current deal, which pays him $6M in salary (his cap would be $8M, with $2M of his $8M signing bonus counting toward 2015). This really does make him an underpaid player by production, especially in light of the money that Ndamukong Suh and a few defensive ends are getting in the open market this year.
Bennett finished the 2014 season with an underwhelming 7.0 sacks, but that stat alone doesn't tell the whole story. Per Pro Football Focus' tracking, his 53 quarterback hurries sat behind only J.J. Watt and Justin Houston (54), and for more perspective, Bennett's total quarterback pressures (72) -- which is combined sacks, hurries and hits -- was best among 4-3 defensive ends and behind only Watt (119) and Houston (85) in the entire league.
Suh obviously got $114M over six years, and in a closer comparison, Jerry Hughes got five years, $45M from the Bills. Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul will be playing for $14.5M on franchise tags this year, and guys like Robert Quinn, Charles Johnson, Chris Long, Junior Galette, Michael Johnson, and Everson Griffin are making more on a per year basis.
Now, if this scenario did prove to be true, the Falcons would have to pony up a pretty nice package of picks and/or players to get an elite player at a premium position only one year into a four year contract. Seattle would only save $2M against the cap this year as well, so, yeah. It would have to be a payday. Not out of the realm of possibility, of course, but it seems like a long-shot. The Seahawks have not been shy about doing crazy ass things though, which makes me reticent to completely discount it.
Never a dull moment.