Michael Bennett goes back to Seattle Seahawks, where it all began
Latest free-agent signee made team as an undrafted rookie in 2009
Seattle Times staff reporter
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett's return to the Seahawks will merit a whole lot more attention than his departure.
It will certainly be more lucrative.
Bennett was with Seattle in 2009, an undrafted rookie free agent from Texas A&M who made the team's 53-man roster coming out of training camp.
Bennett was released during the second month of the season as Seattle was forced to make room for offensive tackle Kyle Williams to be promoted from the practice squad. Bennett was claimed by Tampa Bay, where he has played the past four seasons before becoming a free agent after recording nine sacks in 2012. And now he's coming back to where he started as the Seahawks reached an agreement on a one-year contract for $5 million, according to multiple reports.
He is filling the spot that Jason Jones played for Seattle a year ago, a versatile defensive lineman who can be used in pass-rushing situations. Listed as a defensive end, he has also played some tackle and Dan Quinn — Seattle's new defensive coordinator — was the team's defensive line coach back in 2009 when Bennett made the team.
When the season ended, coach Pete Carroll stated the Seahawks needed to add pass-rushers, plural. With the additions of Cliff Avril and now Bennett, the Seahawks have done that.
Versatility is key
Avril played defensive end for the Vikings, but he played some linebacker in college and could find himself used in that role for the Seahawks as well.
Coach Pete Carroll made it clear that his primary value was his ability to rush the passer from the outside.
"What he really does is comes off that edge roaring after you," Carroll said.
He is being added to a group of pass-rushers that includes Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons, once he recovers from surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.
"I just don't feel like you can have enough speed pass-rushers on your club," Carroll said, "so this opportunity is a great one for us."
• Leon Washington — Seattle's former Pro Bowl kick returner — signed a one-year deal with New England. Washington was released by the Seahawks after they acquired Percy Harvin from Minnesota on Tuesday.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @dannyoneil