Like it does for almost the rest of the country, the reality television that is American politics captivates Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
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So when news broke yesterday that the Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who played defensive end last season, to a six-year extension worth $103 million and $63 million guaranteed, Bennett – who has been clear about his desire for a similar deal – said he didn’t care.
“I pay more attention to things like Donald Trump and stuff like that,” Bennett said Tuesday afternoon after Seattle’s mandatory minicamp’s first practice. “The quote-unquote campaign that’s going on right now. I’m concerned with the political stuff that’s going on in the world. Too much beef. People are eating too much beef, so I don’t really pay attention to many contracts. It can make your stomach hurt. It’s like seeing your favorite girlfriend get married to somebody else.”
Bennett is always good for a unique quote, but that doesn’t change the fact that he still wants more money.
In 2014, he signed a four-year, $28.5 million extension. His play has quickly surpassed his salary.
Over the past two seasons, Bennett has combined for 90 tackles, 17 sacks and five forced fumbles, starting in all 32 games. He is one of the NFL’s most consistent 4-3 defensive ends and is one of the leaders in Seattle’s locker room.
“Of course I am,” Bennett said when asked if he was a $100 million player. “If you look at the stats that those guys have done in the last couple of years, I’m at the top of the list in every statistical category, if you look at tackles for loss, hurries, games played, positions played – I mean, it speaks for itself.”
But the Seahawks have a lot of players locked up to lucrative deals, and another expensive extension may not be possible.
Bennett, who injured his ankle while working out this offseason, has indicated that he will be present and expects to be healthy when the Seahawks begin training camp at the end of July.
Earlier this offseason, Bennett said in an ESPN radio appearance that he “almost threw up” when he found out about the details of Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford’s two-week holdout when the team used the No. 2 overall selection in the draft to select Carson Wentz.
According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Bennett’s continued presence hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially after Seattle dealt with the effect of a holdout last year when strong safety Kam Chancellor missed training camp, the entire preseason and the first two games of the regular season.