His absence seems to be another indication that Michael Bennett is not happy with his contract
It’s April. And the workouts the Seattle Seahawks began Monday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center are voluntary.
So the fact defensive lineman Michael Bennett was not present for the first day of a two-week strength and conditioning session that kicks off Seattle’s official offseason program needs to be kept in perspective.
The poll has expired. Thank you for your submissions.Still, Bennett’s absence was the latest sign he isn’t entirely happy with his contract, a four-year, $28.5 million deal he signed in March 2014, just before he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
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One source said Bennett would not report to voluntary workouts as he would like the team to renegotiate his contract.
While Bennett has denied a report he wants to be traded, he did not dispute having some misgivings about his contract when he appeared on KIRO Radio’s Tom & Curley Show earlier this month.
Asked if he is happy with his contract, Bennett said: “I can’t really say that. But I mean I don’t know anybody that is happy with the amount of money that they’re making. But at this point, I’m just trying to be a good Seahawk.”
While he might be searching for a new deal, it’s regarded as unlikely it will happen because the Seahawks have set a public stance of not renegotiating contracts that have more than a year remaining.
That was at the crux of the holdout last year by running back Marshawn Lynch, as the Seahawks did not want to redo his deal at that time because it had two years remaining.
“If we redid a contract for Marshawn, everybody would be standing outside my office looking for a new contract whenever they wanted it in their deals,” general manager John Schneider said in an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle earlier this year.
Bennett started every game for Seattle last season, leading the team with seven sacks while playing 84.7 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, up from 57 percent in 2013 when he played with a one-year contract worth $5 million.
According to OvertheCap.com, Bennett’s per-year average of $7.125 million is tied with teammate Cliff Avril for 14th among 4-3 defensive ends.
Nothing is mandatory for veteran players until minicamp June 16-18.
The Seahawks will hold Organized Training Activities beginning May 26.
Seahawks re-sign Jeanpierre
The Seahawks added some needed depth at the center spot Monday by bringing back a familiar name — Lemuel Jeanpierre.
Jeanpierre has been with the team since 2011 though he was released before the 2014 season and then brought back in November after starter Max Unger was sidelined with ankle and knee injuries.
Jeanpierre started three games at center last season — victories at San Francisco and Philadelphia and at home against San Francisco — and has started 11 games of 53 in which he has played with Seattle since 2011.
Jeanpierre became an unrestricted free agent after the season.
He becomes the third player listed as a center on the roster, joining Patrick Lewis — who moved past Jeanpierre as the backup center late in the season — and free agent signee Jared Wheeler.
Drew Nowak, listed as a guard, also can play center.
Seattle has been searching to add bodies at center since the trade of Unger in March as part of the deal in which tight end Jimmy Graham was acquired from New Orleans.
Free agent Stefen Wisniewski, who visited the Seahawks last month, signed on Saturday with Jacksonville, but the Seahawks could still look to add other veterans who remain available, such as Chris Myers, formerly of Houston, who also has visited.
Seattle also could look to get a center in the draft.
2015 schedule coming Tuesday
The NFL will release the 2015 regular-season schedule Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m.
Opponents have been set since the end of the 2014 season but dates, times and assignments for television will be announced Tuesday.
Here are Seattle’s opponents for 2015:
Home: St. Louis, Arizona, San Francisco, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Away: St. Louis, Arizona, San Francisco, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay and Minnesota.