Seahawks GM John Schneider told reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t anticipate using the their franchise tag on impending free agent DE Michael Bennett.
This really doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that the Seahawks are projected to have less than $3 million in available cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.
Bennett recently mentioned that he wants to be “compensated with the top guys,” so it’s not going to be easy for Seattle to get him under contract in the next few months.
Bennett, 28, was forced to sign a one-year contract worth $5 million with the Seahawks, despite coming off of a decent 2012 season for the Buccaneers in 2012. The floor seemed to fall out of the defensive end market last year, which led to a number of players accepting limited contracts including: John Abraham, Dwight Freeney, and Shaun Phillips.
Bennett did his best to increase his market value this year by recording 8.5 sacks for the Seahawks defense. Pro Football Focus actually has had him rated as a top-10 4-3 defensive end for the past two years, so he has clearly earned a long-term deal.
We have Bennett listed as the No. 8 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.