Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks was missing from the club's first organized team activities (OTAs), as the star defensive end is holding out due to a contract dispute. Bennett, who is in the second year of a four-year $28.5 million contract he signed before last season, said in an interview that he’s looking for pay that's comparable to that of other top defensive players in the league.
"Trying to get the contract right. I'll be there shortly. I don't know when I'll be there. Depends on the team and stuff. See how it works out," Bennett said via the Seattle Times. "Somewhere near the top seven at my position, top eight at my position. Not a lot of guys play inside and out. Not a lot of guys do what I do. So I feel like I should be somewhere near there."
The 29-year-old Bennett, who will enter his eighth NFL season, receives about $7.1 million per season in his current deal. Bennett is the 19th highest-paid defensive lineman in the league and 13th overall among all defensive ends. J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills are the two highest-paid DEs, receiving more than $16 million per season each.
Bennett was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 by Seattle, which released him the same year. He was picked up off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played from 2009 to 2013. After his stint with the Bucs, Bennett was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Seahawks for a second stint in Seattle.
Bennett helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos in February 2014, and win the NFC championship earlier this year. In his six-year NFL career, he has accumulated 167 tackles, 30.5 quarterback sacks, three pass deflections and six forced fumbles.