Michael Bennett is an impending free agent after spending half the 2019 season in New England and Dallas. At his age (34), he'll likely want to play for a contender -- the only kind of team he's played for since he left Tampa Bay for Seattle way back in 2013. He could even retire. Meanwhile, seven years since they initially acquired Bennett, the Seahawks have remained a team very much in win-now mode. Which begs the question: Could the two parties reunite for one final run together?
It remains to be seen if the Seahawks would be open to a reunion, but Bennett is definitely interested. At least that's what he told the Talkin' Seahawks podcast.
"I would love to end my career in Seattle," he said, via NBC Sports Northwest. "It's not up to you, though. It's up to the team."
From 2013-17, during Seattle's peak that resulted in two trips to the Super Bowl and one championship, Bennett functioned as one of the Seahawks' most important defensive players. His versatility up front was key -- he could move inside or rush the passer around the edge. In those five years, he averaged nearly eight sacks per season, but sacks don't tell the full story of his importance to those great Seattle defenses. He was equally great against the run.
"My time in Seattle was great because I didn't just grow as a player, I grew as a man, and I grew as an individual. I could never say anything bad about Seattle," Bennett said. "I feel like Seattle was such a great part of my life. I'm so thankful for the city."
Over the past few years -- with the Eagles, Patriots, and Cowboys -- Bennett's effectiveness has understandably declined as he's aged. He's well past his prime as a player. But he can still help a contender.
As he pointed out, he'd also be a useful addition as a mentor.
"I think it could be good," Bennett said. "It's always good to have a good veteran defender that can help young guys. A lot of guys have skill in the NFL, but a lot of them don't know how to study tape. Having a guy who knows how to study and could bring in some veteran leadership to go along with some great young talent, I would always think that's a good idea."
Funnily enough, ever since Bennett left, the team has tried to fill his void by drafting similar type of players -- most notably with 2017 second-round pick Malik McDowell (which didn't work out) and 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier (TBD). It's a point that isn't lost on Bennett.
"Every year, they try to draft a Michael Bennett -- like, 'this is a Michael Bennett type,'" Bennett said. "Why not have the real Michael Bennett? That's the thing I always see them doing: 'This guy's always like a Michael Bennett' every time."
Former Seahawks DE Michael Bennett: ‘I’d love to end my career in Seattle’ https://t.co/gw4lzcjpad via @Joe_Fann pic.twitter.com/G9WIRbW3Oi— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) March 10, 2020
The Seahawks already brought back Marshawn Lynch this past season. We'll see if they bring back another relic from the Legion of Boom era in Bennett, who will officially hit free agency next week when the new league year begins on March 18.
The Seahawks might want to see how their situation with Jadeveon Clowney ends first. If Clowney, who is likely to command a lucrative deal, walks in free agency, they'll have a more urgent need up front defensively. If they keep Clowney, they could still use Bennett as a depth piece, but their need will be less urgent and they could prioritize other areas of their roster.