Michael Bennett is not participating in the Seahawks' off-season program and remains unhappy with his contract. That was one of several interesting nuggets from an interview Seahawks general manager John Schneider gave to Pro Football Talk on Wednesday.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett is not taking part in the Seahawks’ off-season program and remains unhappy with his contract, Seattle general manager John Schneider said during an interview with Pro Football Talk on Wednesday.
But in a wide-ranging interview in which he also touched on Marshawn Lynch’s retirement, why the team didn’t sign Vernon Adams and a few other topics, Schneider hinted strongly that the team does not plan to do anything contractually for Bennett this off-season.
Bennett has two years remaining on a four-year, $28.5 million contract signed in the spring of 2014. The Seahawks, though, have tried to adhere to an internal guideline of not giving extensions to players who have more than a year remaining, a policy that also came into play last year when safety Kam Chancellor held out.
Schneider noted that a couple other players have also not been participating in the off-season program, which is voluntary, including Cliff Avril (who took a recent trip to Haiti to build an elementary school) and Earl Thomas, the latter of whom is on a honeymoon after a recent marriage.
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But Schneider’s answer didn’t appear to argue that Bennett is staying away right now due to issues with his contract.
“I don’t get the impression he’s fine with his contract,’’ Schneider said. “But I think he recognizes it’s a team sport and I’m sure he sees a couple of his teammates who have one year left on their contracts (notably, receiver Doug Baldwin). He has two left on his.’’
Schneider said the team’s preference is to take care of the players who have just one year remaining first (others who also fit that category are kicker Steven Hauschka, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and tight end Luke Willson).
“It’s always a rotating deal,’’ Schneider said.
Bennett also mostly sat out of the voluntary off-season program last year but took part in every mandatory event (such as the veteran mini-camp in June and training camp), though he later admitted he came close to holding out of training camp. Bennett changed agents in the off-season, from Drew Rosenhaus to Doug Hendrickson, with the thought being that he hoped it might help spur the Seahawks to be more receptive to a renegotiation.
As for a few other topics. …
- Schneider, when asked if Lynch is completely retired, said: “It seems like it. I haven’t seen a lot of guys that are riding camels and stuff. NFL players around the desert, I haven’t seen a lot of that. But he’s been thinking about this for a while, obviously, so I think he’s very much at peace with it.” PFT wrote in the recap of its interview that it will have an update Thursday morning on Lynch’s future, appearing to hint he is at least considering playing again. That story is this one — that Lynch has yet to file his retirement papers. The Seahawks said last week Lynch had yet to file the papers and that they could put him on the reserve/retired list. The Seahawks indeed put Lynch on that list last Thursday so Seattle retains his rights for the two years remaining on his contract. If Lynch were to want to play for another team Seattle would have to release him or trade him. As PFT notes, if he were released he would have to go through waivers, meaning other teams would have the right to claim him based on the waiver order at the time of his release (which is by record, worst to best).
- Asked about the tryout last week of former Oregon and Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams during the team’s rookie mini-camp, Schneider said he “did a nice job’’ but didn’t do as well as the other two QBs who were there, Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps. “Really at this point, he didn’t do enough to kind of go past those players or kind of supplant one of those guys,’’ Schneider said. “He had a nice weekend for us and we’ll stay in contact with him.’’ Adams is expected to tryout this week at Washington.
- Asked if Boykin could really emerge as the backup to Russell Wilson, Schneider said “he really does based on his style, basically running the read option and based on pure arm talent. … He does, though, because this guy has a lot of pure talent and if he wouldn’t have had his incident (an arrest for his bar fight that led to him being suspended for the Alamo Bowl) I think we all agree he would have been taken much higher.’’ Boykin signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.
- Asked about the rehab of Jimmy Graham, Schneider said “he seems to be doing great. He’s got a great attitude about it. He’s got a smile on his face, really attacking rehab every day.’’
- Schneider also gave an interesting answer about the offensive revival of last season saying that early in the year the team had issues protecting Wilson and that “we were also trying to force the ball to Jimmy Graham and not just playing offense.’’ He said the offense took off “once we were able to protect him and just go play ball and let ‘er rip.’’
- Schneider also called the re-signing of Jermaine Kearse key to keeping the team’s receiving corps set and said “I was actually surprised to a certain extent we were able to stay in the ballgame with him.’’ Schneider added that “Paul Richardson should be back and adding Kenny Lawler to the group is going to be a good deal for us as well.’’
- Asked how the running back rotation will sort out with Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael joined by three draft picks, Schneider said “my personal opinion is it’s going to take us a little bit to have a rotation and find out what each guy’s role is going to be.’’ Schneider noted again that C.J. Prosise was drafted initially to fill the third-down back role and said “there’s going to be some really unique roles for all these guys.’’