See, I put myself in a certain frame of mind, I write posts resigned to the fact that things aren’t going to go the way I want them to, and when things go well for me – proving me wrong in the process – I get to sit here and bask in the elation we’re all feeling right now. Michael Bennett will return to the Seahawks! Word on the street is, 4 years, $28.5 million, $16 million guaranteed.
This is pretty huge. It was always going to be impossible to bring everyone back (hence the bummer of seeing Red Bryant go), but as long as we were able to keep Michael Bennett, we’re able to mitigate that loss a little bit, and not have to completely start over on the D-Line.
I don’t know if there’s much left to say about what Bennett means to this team. He generates pressure from every spot along the line, he’s got a motor unlike any other, and he makes those around him better. To get him for a little over $7 million per year is outstanding to me, and possibly means we’re also able to keep Chris Clemons.
Now, I know that’s a difficult proposition – considering his cap hit is nearly $10 million, which has him currently the third-highest on the team – but you know my stance on the whole thing: you can never have enough pass rushers. With the overall salary cap increase, it might still be possible to hang onto him.
OR, if you wanted to get cute, you can look at it like this: Chris Clemons is likely not worth $9.7 million on the open market. At his age, coming off of that ACL injury, there’s no way he’s beating out a Michael Bennett-esque contract (or even a Cliff Avril-esque contract). And, now that we’ve got Bennett back in the mix, signed-sealed-and-delivered, that gives the Seahawks a little more leverage in this thing. Maybe instead of just keeping Clemons at this $9.7 million figure for one year, we renegotiate to something like 2 years & $10 million, with $4-5 million guaranteed for 2014, and something like $2 million guaranteed in 2015. That way, we lower his cap figure to a more-reasonable level, he still gets MOST of the money he would otherwise get on his current deal, and if he holds up through 2014, the Seahawks get a bit of a bargain for 2015 when there’s a chance we lose Avril to free agency.
Any way you slice it, though, there’s nothing bad about getting Michael Bennett back. He was the team’s number one priority for a reason. Now, if we go after another pass rusher in the draft, we can let that guy evolve at his own pace and not have to rely on him right out of the chute to be a Super Bowl-level piece.
To put it another way: if the Seahawks do nothing else the rest of this offseason, they’re already a favorite in my eyes to repeat as world champions. Granted, doing nothing else would mean losing guys like Golden Tate, Clinton McDonald, and 40% of our starting offensive line, but I still feel like we could fill those holes internally right now and be fine. However, there was no internal fix for losing Michael Bennett. Hell, there were very few EXTERNAL fixes for losing Michael Bennett! But, right now (assuming no one steals away Doug Baldwin, who indeed was tendered with a 2nd round draft pick price), we’ve had a successful offseason.
Of course, that having been said, you KNOW the Seahawks aren’t done. Not by a long shot. While this isn’t about simply reloading for 2014, but rather building for the long term run of championships we’re sure to win, it’s a nice feeling to know that while our long term interests are always paramount, our short term goals won’t take a hit.
Long Live Michael Bennett!
P.S. Now, we just need to re-sign Clinton McDonald and I’ll REALLY be happy.
P.P.S. Speaking of Doug Baldwin’s 2nd round tender, what’s to stop a team like the 49ers from totally fucking with us on this deal? I HATE that we didn’t give him a 1st round tender, I really do. The 49ers are absolutely STACKED with draft picks and can surely afford to give away a 2nd rounder for the right return piece. But, besides that, what’s keeping them from driving up the price? I feel like the Seahawks’ plan all along was to bring Baldwin back on this 1-year deal, and then dealing with him during the NEXT offseason. But, if the 49ers put the screws to us and make him a big offer, that’s going to force us to make that decision before we wanted to. Either that, or they’ve just bolstered their passing attack tenfold. Crabtree, Boldin, and Davis are nice and all. But, if you throw Baldwin into that mix, you’ve really GOT something!
The one thing holding that back is likely Jim Harbaugh not wanting to admit that he fucked up in not drafting one of his old college players. Then again, if the front office really wants to stick it to Harbaugh for all that “signing with the Cleveland Browns” nonsense (and for overall being a terrible, Bieberian douche to work with), maybe they go around Harbaugh to bring in Baldwin regardless of how he feels.
Either way, I hate the whole damn scenario and I hope the team figures out a way to extend Baldwin before it’s too late.