Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 12: Running back Michael Bennett #29 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches play against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on October 12, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks have big decisions to make regarding the salary cap, and Michael Bennett may have just solidified his departure from the Super Bowl champs. Bennett, who led the Hawks in sacks this past season, reportedly wants around $10 million a year and is unwilling to take a discount to stay in Seattle. Michael Bennett After an impressive season, it makes sense that he wants to cash in. But his wishes are unlikely to be granted by GM John Schneider, and other NFL teams for that matter. This year’s crop of defensive linemen free agents is saturated with talent, and Schneider knows how to find talent for a steal. Bennett last season is a prime example. It’s therefore highly unlikely that Schneider will reward Bennett handsomely when he can find someone who can produce just as much for less. And it’s not like Bennett’s success is all on him. Seattle’s Legion of Boom shut down opposing quarterbacks’ options, thus forcing them to stay in the pocket. That extra time made it easier for the big boys on the line, and with other guys like Cliff Avril, Clint McDonald, and Chris Clemons around him, Bennett simply couldn’t be double teamed. Oh, and then there’s the noise at CenturyLink Field that disrupts offensive communication at the line. So, sorry Michael, but your ability alone didn’t result in your fantastic year. It had something to do with it, certainly, but not all of it is on you. Now, the question is who Seattle can acquire to replace him. There’s some buzz surrounding free agent Everson Griffen, who played for Pete Carroll in college. Griffen could easily be the next Bennett, and his contract would definitely be cheaper. Whoever it is, it’s safe to say that defensive linemen who are currently free agents will want to come to Seattle. What lineman wouldn’t want to play for the league’s best defense? Bennett’s decision to not take a pay cut disappointed me to say the least. You would think that a guy who’s had to play the majority of his career in awful Tampa Bay would be eager to stay on a championship team, surrounded by adoring fans and equally talented teammates who make his job easier. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. But I guess more money trumps getting another Super Bowl ring for Bennett, because believe me, Seattle will soon be back in the Super Bowl. John Schneider can find someone cheaper who can produce just as much as Bennett did in this year’s free agent pool. The Seattle Seahawks will not be sorely missing Bennett; he’s not integral to the Seahawks’ success next season. So, 12th Man, thank Bennett for his service and eagerly await the next free agent. Let him swallow up cap space somewhere else.

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