On Friday, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” had a full array of guests, including getting Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Clark’s take on the marijuana “debate” and a number of interviews with the post-Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks. One of those was Michael Bennett, their “star defensive end,” who has made headlines over the last couple days due to his pending free agency. With most around the league dissecting his “flip-flopping” rhetoric on re-signing with the team, they failed to latch on to a subtle jab that Michael Bennett appeared to take at Robert Quinn and the rest of the dominating defensive ends in the NFC West.
During the interview, Bennett was asked whether or not he thought Russell Wilson should be considered an “elite quarterback” after winning a Super Bowl in only his second season in the league. While responding, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent tangentially suggested that all of the players on the Seattle Seahawks should be considered No.1 at their position, then took a shot a Peyton Manning’s 5000+ passing yard season. If that wasn’t enough, he went completely off topic and followed that statement with,
“…why does it matter if you have 20 sacks and you not in the playoffs, all those sacks don’t matter…”
Despite just winning the Super Bowl, Bennett appears to feel a little slighted at the accolades that Robert Quinn received for his performance this past season. To be fair, there were plenty: Pro Bowl, (first ever) Pro Bowl captain, 1st-Team All-Pro, and, to top it all off, being named as the Professional Football Writers of America’s Defensive Player of the Year.
However, Bennett’s rage might be best placed somewhere else, assuming that his ultimate goal is to receive a lucrative, long-term deal. Last year, Bennett made $4.8 million, a deal which he obviously believes was ill-fitting of a player of “his magnitude.” However, a quick look over at Robert Quinn’s bank account would reveal that the inarguable top 4-3 defensive end in the NFL made only $2.5 million last season, and is in-line to make only $3.0 million this year, barring some contract extension.
Regardless of the money situation, it is doubtful that many will buy into Michael Bennett’s line of thinking. His efforts might be better served comparing himself to a player that didn’t just come off of a historically dominant pass rushing season; a player who managed 10.5 more sacks, 26 more quarterback disruptions, 26 more combined tackles, six more forced fumbles, and 20 more defensive stops than Michael Bennett last season.
If you want to hear it for yourself, you can listen to the whole interview on ESPN Audio. Fast forward to the 39:20 mark for the start of his comments.