Quick Thoughts: Michael Bennett trade

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, here are the details of the Michael Bennett trade to Philadelphia:

Michael Bennett trade thoughts

1) The Seahawks owed Bennett a $3 million roster bonus on March 18th, effectively making that his trade deadline. Although several teams were reportedly interested, it’s a light return for a player of his caliber. The player coming back is WR Marcus Johnson, an athletic former UDFA with special teams experience, in the mold of Ricardo Lockette.

2) Under normal conditions, Bennett leaves a dead money hit of $5.175 million, saving only $2.2 million in 2018 cap space. However, there would be no dead money remaining in 2019 or 2020.

3) If Seattle instead designates this a post-June 1st trade, then they will save $5.65 million against the cap this year. Doing so would also leave a $3.45 million dead money charge in 2019. I’m still trying to understand how this works, but it seems possible based on the circumstances and timing of the deal.

4) As I’ve mentioned on HawkTalk repeatedly, there was more weighing on this situation than merely cap/competition concerns:  

Bennett may be aging and constantly nicked-up, but the cap savings alone don’t justify trading him away for such a modest return. He managed 8.5 sacks as Seattle’s most consistent pass rusher last season, despite playing through a torn plantar fascia in his foot. It’s clear the Seahawks are ready to change the aura of the locker room while going younger on defense.

5) Bennett’s departure creates a huge need at defensive end as the offseason gets underway. Frank Clark and Dion Jordan possess sky-high upside, but have a lot to prove as (relatively) full time players. Moreover, the Seahawks prefer to utilize a deep DE rotation and use the larger 5-Tech types inside as nickel rushers. Seattle requires quality depth at the very least, and the Clark/Jordan duo only has 1 year remaining under team control. Heading into free agency, DE joins RB, OL, SS and TE as pressing offseason needs. There sure are a lot of holes to fill on this roster.

6) It’s fair to contemplate what lengths PCJS will go to transition the team past the post-L.O.B. era defense. While the latest reports indicate they want to keep Earl Thomas, twitter exploded with rampant speculation surrounding Richard Sherman today:

However, the following is all we know as of now:

This next tweet by Ian Rapoport confirms that we really don’t know anything yet on Sherman:

It’s important to remember that Sherman is representing himself this offseason, without an agent. The leaks to his teammates may merely be a negotiating tactic, as he hopes to either get an extension or at least his full $11 million salary next season. Hopefully we’ll get more clarity on the situation in the coming days.

7) On a personal note, I’m going to be sad to see Bennett go. He was the most dominant member of Seattle’s vaunted defensive line since 2013, and a big reason Century Link sports a Super Bowl banner. No matter how hurt he was, he always competed his tail off and left everything out there on the field. And regardless of how you feel about him off the field, he is a champion for the issues he believes in, and an active member of the Seattle community.

8) Bennett posted the following heartwarming goodbye message on Instagram:

Dear Seattle, #12s

You have meant so much to me and my family! I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

First and foremost I want to thank my wife and family, for always supporting me and helping guide me in every situation. My wife is the backbone of our family and I am truly blessed to have her and our three daughters. 

I of course want to thank Paul Allen, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, Peter McLoughlin, Erik Kennedy and Mo Kelly for bringing me to the Seahawks and giving me the opportunity to help bring Seattle their first Championship. 

My teammates. My brothers! More important than any championship or ring are the relationships I have made with the men in that locker room. We experienced marriages, births, deaths, and everything in between, and those are moments I will cherish forever. 

Last but certainly not least, to the City of Seattle, one of the best in the world. You fans are world class. The way you support us players on and off the field, helping to build bridges across our communities and understand what it means to give back and be community-minded. I am forever grateful for allowing me to grow and evolve in this time that I’ve had with you. I expanded my family in this city, I had one of my babies here. This truly was home for us and it’s been such an incredible five years. 

I want to assure you that the work we have started here with The Bennett Family Foundation will not stop. We are committed to this city, community and the schools we serve. It’s been a blessing to be able to meet so many great people through our work, and share our passion and dedication to better the World, and we look forward to meeting so many more of you. We are just getting started.

We thank you, we love you, God Bless! 
Love, Black Santa


Goodbye and good luck Mike – you’ll he sorely missed.

I’m putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive Combine takeaways piece, which we’ll post tomorrow. It’ll cover top performers, Seahawks draft strategy, and potential draft targets at each position group.