Seahawks Insider

Griffen cashes in, which should thrill Bennett

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on March 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm with 88 Comments »
March 9, 2014 1:54 pm

Defensive end Everson Griffen reportedly signed a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings today. ESPN says $20 million is guaranteed.

Michael Bennett will likely command and receive more.

Bennett, by almost any comparison, is the better player at this point, though he is two years older than Griffen. The argument that is always going to benefit Bennett is one focused on efficiency, and it works when being compared to Griffen.

Griffen played 699 snaps to Bennett’s 598 last season. Despite the more than 100-snap difference in playing time, Bennett had more sacks (8.5-5.5), combined tackles (31-28) and stuffs (5-3).

One thing of note for the Seahawks: No end played more for them than Bennett. Chris Clemons was second in snaps at 568 and Cliff Avril third at 554.


Leave a comment Comments → 88
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Not good news for Seattle. Damn Minn, what are you doing?

  2. Singularitarian says:

    and meanwhile they lose Jarred Allen for 5-6 mill a year

  3. CDHawkFan says:

    That’s going to be the issue with this cap, there are always going to be 4-5 teams out there with a lot of cap space. One team with a lot of room will drive up the CB going rate, another the QB, another the DE. Problem is we have all of then now and will need to sign most of them and not just 1 or 2 of them.

    We were glad the cap was moved up, but it doesn’t seem to matter if Minny and Green Bay (this year) ‘over pay’ for positions of need. Our guys will want the same, if not more.

  4. vichawkfan says:

    Sam Shields now Griffen. Wow.

  5. hollywoodt says:

    Bennett is not worth that kind of money. Cap or no cap. Look for more one year deals.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Whether the cap moves up or not, there will be teams that will “overpay” and skew market value. I just don’t see how Seattle can invest $50 mil, which I now imagine Bennett will get, when Wilson, Thomas, and Sherman need to be extended.

  7. edstang45 says:

    No worries, just consider Bennett gone, JS is doing the right thing not overpaying. Bennett was a good piece but he may disappear not playing on this D. JS should have his eyes on a replacement, maybe a rook in the draft. I got faith in his ability to retool

  8. seatowntp says:

    The truth is that the Seahawks FO have contingency plans. I trust that have already identified potential replacements and will be able to secure the services of the next Michael Bennett.

  9. seatowntp says:

    I trust that JS / PC have already identified potential replacements and will be able to secure the services of the next Michael Bennett.

  10. grizindabox24 says:

    I think the only for sure extensions are Thomas and Wilson…

  11. tchristensen says:

    I’m hoping they at least re-sign Tate, Giocomini and Haushka. Bennett and Thurmond are gone.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Not so sure about Thurmond. I don’t imagine too many teams will be willing to give a guy one strike away from a very lengthy suspension for violating the drug policy, a sizable contract. This helps Seattle.

  13. The business may not be Costco, but it doesn’t always have to be Neiman Marcus either. If Bennett leaves, then so be it. It’s money that can be used elsewhere.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing McDonald or McDaniels hang around, or have the flexibility to extend Avril if he has a good showing next season.

  14. bigmike04 says:

    Russell wilson already has money coming through with all his sponsor from Pepsi, american family insurance with the ask russell wilson app, nike if he has that contract.. He will get his contract from Seattle no doubt..

    I think Bennett choice comes down to seahawks or bears due to his brother being on team & his brother is recruiting him very hard at selling the bears franchise to his brother…

    Dont think Thurmond is going to get long term contract with any team in NFL like Brandon Browner because both guys are 1 strike away from being Suspended & it not like their going to be stop smoking mary jane..

  15. Southendzone says:

    You’ve heard of the hometown discount, I’d argue there’s also something called the home-town premium. What that means is if your team wants to keep you before you test the market, they have to blow you away. That’s what happened here.

    This deal seems desperate. They’re paying for future potential more than past performance. Bennett is much more proven than this guy.

    I thought this was about the deal MB would get, not anymore. If he’s really determined to take top $, I think he will be around 5yr/$50M with $27M guaranteed.

  16. thinwhiterope says:

    Does anyone have a link to a vimeo video about the 2014 season? I could have sworn there was a link posted in the comments recently, but I can’t find it anywhere.

  17. viniseattle says:

    Hey guys, check this video from last year’s Training Camp. More specifically on 12:25.

    It’s funny how Bennett says the he’s no Costco, but criticizes Matt Ryan for accepting the huge paycheck.

  18. Kingpear says:

    I think the FO has a figure in mind for what they are willing to spend. I think this is part of the reason that you haven’t seen Clemons released. Worst case I think they would renegotiate Clemons, use Avril, spell Irvin in and draft someone in this years draft. I understand it is fairly deep at DE.

    It’s business.

  19. does jared allen have anything left? our other advantage may be for some veteran guys who want a shot at a title.

    kind of agree that Griffen’s deal makes Bennett’s return a longer shot.

  20. WilliamPercival says:

    Actually it’s a pretty shallow draft at DE and TE compared to other positions. This is one of the reasons DE’s are going to see teams overpay.

    You won’t see many teams overpay for WR because this draft is very deep there. I still believe we’ll re-up Tater at 5/25mil, w/ 10 guarantee due to this.

  21. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Bennett is a goner, no way he gets that kind of money here. Next man up.

  22. WilliamPercival says:

    By the way, I know I mentioned Michael Johndon as a consolation to Bennett, but I’m beginning to feel one of our contingency plans may be Lamarr Houston. That guy is a ballplayer and only 26 at 6′ 3″ and 300lbs he has been extremely versatile for Oak in that he played DT, DE and LB with effectiveness across the board. Doesn’t hurt he is probably flying under the radar a bit being a Raider.

  23. Southendzone says:

    The Keep Bennett scenario likely involves cutting Clemons. Maybe the original offer was in the 8M range. Now you probably need 9.5 to get in the room with him and up to 10.5 to really get the deal done.

    The 1st year, you get a lot of the savings from Clemons, I think they can still do it if they want.

  24. tealskin says:

    Doubt anyone is flying under the radar because of the team they’re on. Have seen his name mentioned on several sites. Promises to be a few months of agony watching all this play out. Trust the plan.

  25. Lets see where this is headed, and just remember Hawks are the world champions. Even if Bennett and Tate walk the Hawks will find a way to generate a pass rush. Nobody is bigger than the team, nobody. Would love to see a motivated Justin Tuck in a Hawks uniform more than J.Allen, but both would be fine to replace Bennett on the outside, and might be cheap enough for us to retain McDonald or Tate.

  26. ChrisHolmes says:

    That’s the thing: don’t think for one second that this FO hasn’t already thought about losing Bennett, and that they don’t have models in place for this situation. Because they do.

    We’ll be fine.

  27. I think Bennett is gone.

    BIG surprise (to me anyway) that despite his injury, Clemons played more snaps than Avril.

    I think Tate is gone too – and I think its OK. Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette….. we will be fine.

  28. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Justin Tuck would be a nice cheap alternative assuming hes healthy.. He has that same outside inside versatility. We will be fine no need to sweat losing Bennett…Remember PC/JS have been building a dynasty using a college blueprint, we don’t REBUILD we RELOAD!

  29. GeorgiaHawk says:

    viniseattle, Thanks for the video. Bennett seems like a tool. I hope some team really over pays him. I don’t really care at this point if he stays or goes. If he goes it will free up money to spend elsewhere.

  30. Southendzone says:

    Tuesday is gonna be fun! Not gonna stress about anything, we the world champs!

  31. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “Goodbye, Bennett on Tuesday”
    “We couldn’t hang a tag on you”
    “Not so sure if I care one way”
    “Still I’m gonna miss you…”

  32. DanielleMND says:

    I don’t think really good pass rushers who can play inside or outside are that easy to find. I just remember all the years we were looking for a guy like that and came up lacking.

  33. Singularitarian says:

    lol one guy’s signing doesn’t just mean that the whole market is going to go crazy and just start shelling out money. I think that Minnesota overpaid for a dude. I also thought that Seattle overpaid Kam last year(which I am now happy to eat crow over). Every year there is guys who get paid and guys who slip through the cracks. Let’s just hope that those cracks lead to Seattle.

    Also I don’t think Bennett seemed like a tool at all in that video, he seemed like a pretty chill dude. Can’t blame a guy for wanting to set himself up for life and get the money that he deservedly commands on the open market. I also don’t think that Bennett is quite as good as everybody thinks because he has talent around him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very good, but he certainly aint no JJ Watt

  34. Restucture Qkung,Miller,Clemons,and Avril and let Bennett go.

  35. Really don’t think the Hawks need a guy who can play inside and outside especially at over 8 million a year. The Hawks can try guys like Scruggs, McDonald (if retained), Hill, or go after a guy like Justin Tuck who would greatly benefit from only play 35 to 50 of our snaps. Hawks already have two great outside pass rushers(Clemons/Avril), and a couple who could be if given a chance to develop(Irving, Mayowa, Scruggs)

  36. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Remember this play? Time to lock Earl Thomas up.

  37. Whatever happens here I want to heap praise on Bennett for what he did as a Seahawk. The dude was a revelation. He was a unique player on the most solid and stacked defense I have ever seen in Seattle. Generating interior pass rush is a big deal. It was a defense without a single weak link.

    I don’t believe it’s a slam dunk that he’s gone and I sure hope that he stays. But if he does stay that means he almost surely turned down more money from another team than what the Hawks offer will top out at. Whatever he chooses I wish him well but hey mon, “why not us”?

  38. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Speaking of big hits here is my favorite Seahawk hit of all time.

  39. JohnnyBGood says:

    Just sign a guy like Bennett except unheralded who will work cheap for a one year contract like Bennett did to show himself off in the Seahawks D for one year and then cash in like Bennett did. Easy.

  40. Its being reported on other sites that Bennett has chosen the Bears, and will sign at the start of FA. I don’t think anybody is bashing Bennett, go get that money, but Hawks D was a group effort.

  41. DanielleMND says:

    “Just sign a guy like Bennett except unheralded who will work cheap for a one year contract like Bennett did to show himself off in the Seahawks D for one year and then cash in like Bennett did. Easy.”

    On what planet is it easy to find a good pass rusher, and then keep doing that every year so you don’t have to give one guy a big contract?

  42. completely in agreement with you DanielleMND . . . .

    Bennett/Avril took our D to another level when it counted. And all the post-breakup talk of how he’s a tool or a situational payer will erase none of what I remember watching this season.

    But, so it goes, doesn’t look like we’ll be able to afford him. Not going to overstate it, but it’s a real loss. We’ll still have the most talented roster in the league though.

  43. JohnnyBGood says:

    “On what planet is it easy to find a good pass rusher, and then keep doing that every year so you don’t have to give one guy a big contract?”

    It’s called Planet John and Pete. They bring in fifteen or twenty guys in the offseason. They bring in a Bennett and an Avril. And now they have the Super Bowl rep so even easier to attract guys. Have them all battle it out. Somebody or two emerges.

    And it doesn’t necessarily have to happen every season. Right now it only needs to happen in the upcoming one.

  44. princeaden says:

    Going to the Bears? Good. At least he’s not going to the NFC West where we would see him 2x a year. The Bears are a long way from being a threat in my eyes.

  45. jawpeace says:

    Georgiahawk that is my favorite hit of all time in the NFL.

    blocis, “Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette….. we will be fine.” That WR lineup is so “pedestrian”. 3 out of 4 were FA. Guys like that can’t help a team win a Super Bowl…..
    In all seriousness I would like a little more depth. As I am not sold out on Lockette. Maybe he has finally got the mental side of the game down. But after believing that he was going to be a break out player in the past. I now am reserved about him.

  46. Everson Griffen will have to be playing outside in MIN in the cold for the next two years, since they’ve played their last game in the Metrodome. Not sure if the Vikes get much of a hometown discount for awhile.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    Sept and Oct are beautiful in Minn. My god, it’s not unlike Green Bay, Chicago, or Cle. If they’re not getting so-called hometown discounts it’s not because of the stadium or weather.

  48. About Michael Bennett – 9 sacks, 17 QB hits, 39 QB hurries. He still has the torn rotator cuff that hasn’t had surgery since he got it in Tampa Bay. Then early on this season he had a back injury in the Texans game when he had to be carted off the field. Still, he had the 3rd best pass rush among 4-3 DEs over last season (behind Robt Quinn and Cameron Wake), and the fifth best overall performance among 4-3 DEs.

  49. bigmike04 says:

    The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to upgrade their pass rushing on the edges but are not likely to overspend to improve the spot. Players like OLB’s Mike Neal (Packers), O’Brien Schofield (Seahawks) and Robert Jackson (Redskins) have been mentioned as upgrades. -

    The Chicago Bears are believed to have free-agent DE Michael Bennett (Seahawks) as their top free-agent target this offseason. – See more at:

    Where is reports that, he already going to signed with Bears,, He is at top of their free agent list..

  50. I lived in the bananna belt of Alaska (Anchorage) for a dozen years, got my share of frost bite, but mostly in the winters I remember seeing on TV that the coldest place in the US (including Alaska) was in MIN. This winter was the coldest it’s been there since Ronald Reagon was in office. The U of MIN Stadium is good enough for Gophers, but it looks kinda cold to me: The Gophers field is now going to be heated (which I didn’t know before) like the Packers and Bears fields. The Browns stadium and field are supposed to get $8M upgrades every year for the next 15 years, but unless you’re Joe Jurevicious I can’t see players wanting to go play there. Favre’s concussion that finally ended his career was from landing on the frozen Gophers field.

  51. “Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette….. we will be fine.”

    When I wrote that, I had a few thoughts in mind. Namely that Kearse and Lockette did enough at the end of the year to get a look at bigger roles. Lockette in particular was playing awesome on special teams, this is something WR #4 and WR#5 need to do to stay on the roster. Kearse and Lockette are under inexpensive contracts until 2016.

    The other expectation I have is that the Seahawks will add a FA WR and another in the draft. I think the FA WR they add will be for a much cheaper and shorter deal than Golden Tate will sign.

    And a wild card – lets see how the new tall receiver from the CFL does.

    So when I consider all of this, it seems like we have enough WR talent and depth for a team that relies on the run.

  52. Dukeshire says:

    The daily mean temps during the football season in Minneapolis are: 62, 48.9, 33.7, 19.7. Hardly prohibitive. And I understand that they’ll be playing on the Gophers field for two years but I believe it’s far more likely they’ll have difficulty signing players because they’re not contenders, not the weather.

  53. Duke – what are your thoughts on what Peppers has left as a short-term replacement for Bennett?

  54. CDHawkFan says:

    I thought Peppers was just an DE, outside guy. Does he sometimes line up inside? The great thing about Bennett was the could get QB pressure on 2nd and long and 3rd down from the 3 spot which allows Avril and Clem to stay on the outside where they do their best. I remember the Hawks trying to put Clem inside on a few plays and it didn’t seem to work. Bennett won’t be easily replaced as he had enought quickness to beat the Guard and break down the pocket.

    I guess if he does get a huge deal, we will get a 3rd/4th rounder in 2015.

    I still think we make another offer (or know the current one is good/great and he will take it), PC and JS saw the pass rush cuase us so much grief in 2010, 11, and 12. I can’t believe they will try to go chase another player. It will take 4 or 5 whiffs before they get the right guy, not worth a few million per year to find someone ”as good”.

    Also think signing him will allow them to focus on the OL in the draft. The OL last year was the same headache the DL used to be for PC/JS.

  55. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Off topic a bit however I thought this was a good read and worth sharing-

  56. Looks like Bennett is gone,I look forward to Russell Wilson making him look like a fool as he grabs an armful of air.

  57. trout_hound says:

    Thanks for the Mendenhall retirement link, Georgia, that was definitely a good read. More power to him.

  58. TallyHawk says:

    As much as I hate to lose Bennett this regime has done nothing to make me think they won’t have an answer.

  59. banosser says:

    Just wait till he gets to play on a team that has Cutler at QB instead of RDub… He will no longer enjoy the game as he did this last yr… but he’ll be making a million more per yr… we all have to live with our decisions.. Think hard on it MB.. I know you already gave the Hawks a ‘discount’ this last yr, but think about it.. 16 games/yr in Chicago’s system.. or 18-19/yr in the best system in the league.. I know which place will be more enjoyable to ply your trade.. Don’t think the Hawks offer is disrespectful.. It’s how championships are won.

  60. Ya Bennett is a goner. Oh well, he and his brother can slam a few beers back while sitting on their couch watching the Seahawks making a playoff run next year.

  61. CDHawkFan says:

    I’m a bit surprised that less than 24 hours from FA, the Hawks have only signed their back up safety and center.

  62. princeaden says:

    Think about the year before in Atlanta. Remember the lack of rush that season. I hope we don’t find ourselves looking for that inside rush presence like that again.

  63. rramstad says:

    CD, every free agent player is an optimist, and every agent tells every player what they want to hear. Then free agency starts, you get maybe six or eight fairly big deals right out of the gate, and then NOTHING HAPPENS.

    Most of the guys on our roster that are free agents are role players, certainly we know what we have, and I’m happy they got us our first Lombardi, but you do NOT overpay, especially when those guys know if they stay here another season they are favorites to win another Super Bowl.

    I guarantee that three weeks from now, in early April, people will be surprised in the media as to how many free agents remain unsigned. There’ll be a lot of them. The cap isn’t big enough for everyone to get a big money deal. Sure there are teams with cap room, but two free agents will take care of that, and I think there are only eight teams with significant space? I bet twelve free agents basically eats up all the cap space available in the NFL. There are going to be something closer to 250 free agents in the market.

  64. Princeaden – i was just having that same convo with a co-worker. That is my biggest fear. 2012 was lost because of a lack of a pass rush, and i dont want to see them back in that spot. And now with Red gone they will need to fill that void in the run D. Time for some more PCJS magic

  65. I dont think Bennett will be easily replaceable. We also stand a very good chance of losing McDaniels and McDonald, and there is no reason to think Jesse Williams will ever amount to anything with his mangled knee and his age. It would be great if Scruggs and Hill could make up for losing Bennett, but I wouldnt count on it.

    No player in the NFL put as much pressure on the qb while being so good vs the run as Micheal Bennett–and from two positions. The guy is worth whatever he costs–Seattle may not be willing to pay that much though. But dont go knocking him, saying it was our system or he benefitted from the LOB–THEY benefitted equally from the play of Bennett and Avril.

    I think Bennett will get a 4 year deal between 36 and 45 million. Just my two cents. The guy is a beast, and I dont like to think about losing him. We all know we’re gonna lose some…he’s nearly as important as our LOB core guys. We’ll see how it shakes out.

  66. per KJR… Shefter reporting Seahawks are now the fave to sign Bennett.. film at eleven

  67. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – Did the Bears release him yet? Regardless, he was pretty dinged up last year, starting in camp. And there are a lot of miles on that 34 year old frame. I’m skeptical he’s got much left, but then again, I wouldn’t be opposed if they brought him in for a look. (How’s that for waffling?)

  68. If the Bears sign Bennett, Peppers is definitely gone.

    With the Seahawks moving back to first place on Bennett, I’m a bit worried how much they are going to offer him. This could get ridiculous.

  69. Bears supposedly offering 8.5M/ vs Seahawks 8M/

  70. Now the rumor mill swings back in our favor. Lots of people saying the Hawks will resign Bennett. Just hope he stays hungry for another ring if this is true

  71. Minnesota is a lot different from top to bottom. In the North you’ve got the woods and super freezing temps, while the South is great for farming and more mild temps. It’s almost a tale of two different states. Saying MN is a frozen wasteland because it has a place in the North that usually has a spot with freezing temps worse than most other places is like saying the Seahawks suck because they don’t have a very good o-line. Sure, it gets cold but it’s not in the stereotypical manner some think.

    I’d like to get Bennett back but not at all costs. He’s what, our fifth or sixth best defensive player?

  72. Depending on guarantees, 8-8.5 mil is fine, for what this dude can do. And his “grit” and effort levels are unimpeachable. A Hawk kind of guy.

  73. chuck_easton says:


    If Bennett wants to go to Chicago so he can play on the same team as his brother, that’s great! It may be a situation where he accepts similar or less money from the Bears than he could have received here.

    All I have to say to Michael Bennett is thank you for the great effort you gave to the Seahawks last season. Enjoy your SB ring, you earned it. Gook luck in your future career.

    And when the Bears contract is announced don’t automatically assume that Seattle’s was for less money or duration. This sounds to me like playing with his brother was a higher priority than staying with the defending SB champions.

  74. RDPoulsbo says:

    According to ESPN, Seattle is supposedly the favorites to re-sign Bennett and that a deal could be announced as early as this afternoon.

    I’m kind of mixed about this. He was a very important piece for winning the SB, but the price tag could handcuff the team in the coming years. Looks like we just have to wait to see the contract looks like, if it comes at all.

  75. Southendzone says:

    This is really fun! Just like Bennett said on the radio this morning:

    “You gotta keep watching to see how it ends, like a suspenseful movie”

  76. chuck_easton says:


    If it really is the 8M per year and there is some room to make much of this year’s salary in the form of a signing bonus, Bennett could be had for a lesser Cap hit.

    Also, if he is signed for 8M, the easy thing to do is let Clemons walk. His salary is comparable. I don’t think the team can keep both of them at that price.

  77. RDPoulsbo,, I agree. I hope that it well be front loaded and it’ll mean we’ll have to cut Chris Clemons for sure.

    I am sure JS/PC wants to win another ring while they can, so I can’t fault them for it….I wouldn’t mind an consecutive Super Bowl,, lol :)

  78. chuck_easton says:

    And, again, if he does indeed choose the Bears, it doesn’t mean Seattle didn’t make a strong and fair offer.

  79. ChrisHolmes says:

    I’ve visited Minnesota. You couldn’t pay me to live there.

    Forget the cold; I can’t take the mosquitoes. They’re big enough to bleed a small animal dry (kidding… almost).

    I was there for a week. After about 3 days I feared going outside. I couldn’t imagine living in a place where I didn’t want to venture outdoors.

  80. Southendzone says:

    Reports are that Hawks are at 8.0M and CHI at 8.5M. Given 5% Ill income tax, here’s a breakdown which assumes a tax deductible 5% agent commission, fully deductible state sales tax amounts (on federal return) and the top tax rate of 39.6% on his full earnings.

    SEA @ 8.0 = take home 4,590,400
    CHI @ 8.5 = take home 4,633,498

    If seattle even ups their offer to 8.1M, that sways the take home in our favor by 14k a year.

    I think my handling of the Agent Commission may be incorrect. Any tax experts in here feel free to correct.

  81. ChrisHolmes says:

    If Seattle lands Bennett and has to cut Clemons, that’s okay. Bennett is the better player right now. He was just impactful. There’s no other way to put it. Honestly, 8M sound about fair when you look at the entire cap situation and the core guys with contracts coming.

    We still have Avril too, who had a really good impact in the limited snaps he saw last year. Good productivity there.

    If we lose Bennett, well – so be it. Wish him well.

  82. ChrisHolmes says:

    So for 40K a year after taxes, you want to play for Chicago, or the World Champs?

  83. As I’ve stated – i’m a big fan of stretching to keep Bennett – for the reasons noted. But, assuming these rumors are true, it looks like we’re making a very legitimate effort to keep him – and, as a fan, I can’t ask for anything more. Hope it works out.

  84. Hopefully Clem takes a pay cut ($3-4M/) for one last yr and one more SB push.. cuz he sure won’t see anything any better after he’s released.. and I believe he has one more good yr in him..

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