Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett spoke with the Huffington Post this week, telling author Jordan Schultz that it's been "super hard" to deal with this contract while seeing other defensive ends sign much bigger deals.
"It is never-ending," Bennett says. "Especially when people are getting new contracts every day. You sit there and you're like, ‘Damn, really?' I'm just to the point where it's kind of like, if you don't think I'm valuable, then just get rid of me."
Bennett is going into the third year of a four-year deal and the team has held firm on the policy to not negotiate contracts with more than one year left on them. For that reason, and given what happened to Kam Chancellor last year, it seems obvious that Bennett will show up to camp and not holdout, but that doesn't mean the issue will just go away. In a show of support, Pete Carroll said "He's not wrong" to be frustrated and that the team would make an effort to make sure he remains in Seattle.
One thing that often gets forgotten is that at the time he signed the deal, Bennett was an incredibly good rotational player and in the two years since, he's blossomed into being one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL. He has outplayed his contract, but he signed it with the intention of remaining on a Super Bowl-caliber team and perhaps unaware that he wasn't even close to reaching his full potential yet.
I don't think that he really wants the team to "get rid" of him, but I'm sure it's difficult to see Olivier Vernon and Malik Jackson sign for more than three times what he signed for in total dollars when he's clearly a better player than both. Players will only get this one chance to make the money that they'll have to live off of for quite some time. (Though I'm sure Bennett and his brother Martellus will make millions more in reality show money at some point.)
The Seahawks open training camp next Saturday, July 30. I think there's a greater chance of the team bending their rules to support Bennett than there is of him not being there.