According to Henderson, if the Seahawks do move Bennett, who is under contract through the 2020 season, it'll likely happen before March 18:
Bennett is set to count almost $7.4 million against Seattle's salary cap next season. By trading or releasing him before June 1, the Seahawks would save roughly $2.2 million against the 2018 salary cap while incurring around $5.2 million in dead money charges. A trade or release would likely come before March 18, when Bennett is owed a $3 million roster bonus.
Bennett should draw considerable trade interest, but don't expect a team to give up anything substantial in value. His production and resume will certainly lure teams in. He's strong against the run, he gets after quarterbacks (39 sacks in the past five seasons), and he can line up at multiple spots. But his age will probably scare away some teams. Bennett will turn 33 during the 2018 season, which he referenced when he spoke about his uncertain future.
"I probably won't be back next year," Bennett told The News Tribune's Gregg Bell after the team's season finale. "Just seems like it's a young man's game. I can see them going younger, with younger players. That's part of the game."
Just because the Seahawks are shopping him doesn't mean they'll definitely part ways with him. This is the same team that shopped star cornerback Richard Sherman last offseason and completely owned up to it later, with
"Right now we have kind of moved past [trading Sherman]" Schneider said last April. "And if somebody calls and goes crazy with something then we'll discuss it again. But at this point, I don't mean go crazy but give you like compensation where it's something that you really, truly have to think about it and consider it, we would have to consider it. And we would consider it because of, it's like I said, it's been a mutual thing, it's OK. And we feel like it would be, it would clear cap room, we would be able to get younger. But that's the only reason we would do it. I mean the guy is one of the top cornerbacks in the league. You don't just give him away, you know?"
That's not a horrible way to think about the Bennett situation. The Seahawks would probably love to get younger at the position and clear some cap space. But you don't just give a good player away for free. And Bennett is still good. He racked up 8.5 sacks last season.
But the Seahawks could be in for a ton of changes this offseason. Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril might be . Sherman's contract is coming to an end after the 2018 season and . Free safety Earl Thomas is while to join the Cowboys. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, , will become a free agent. Defensive lineman Malik McDowell, a second-round pick last year, missed his entire rookie season after an . His status for 2018 is still unknown.
Carroll seems to understand just how many changes could be coming to Seattle in the near future.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, with the rise of the Sean McVay-led Rams and the presence of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco, there's also the opportunity for this to be the beginning of the end of their reign over the NFC West.