The Seattle Seahawks will have a few new faces on their defense, one of which is not so new. Defensive end Michael Bennett signed with the Seahawks as a free agent over the offseason, thus beginning his second stint with the team.
Bennett was a member of the Seahawks in 2009 after signing with them as an undrafted free agent. He was eventually waived by Seattle and claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team he has spent the last three full seasons with. He had a big year for the Buccaneers last season with nine sacks, a total that attracted many teams during free agency.
The Seahawks were ultimately the team that won Bennett’s services, and are hopeful that he will be able to bring that same level of production to Seattle this season. Bennett will likely be the backup to Chris Clemons when he is healthy, but will see major playing time in the first few weeks with Bruce Irvin suspended for the first four games of the season and Clemons seemingly unlikely to return by Week 1.
Most likely, the defensive line for Seattle’s first game of the year against the Carolina Panthers will have Bennett at one end position and fellow newcomer Cliff Avril at the other, with Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane playing at the defensive tackle spots in their 4-3 defensive scheme.
After the Seahawks get Irvin and Clemons back, Bennett will most likely be used more sparingly in certain situations and when Avril or Clemons need to rest.
Bennett should be able to mesh well with Seattle’s elite defense. He may not get the same number of opportunities that he saw in Tampa Bay last season, but he could have a big impact and help the Seahawks with the occasional sack. If he can get five-plus sacks this season, this would prove to be a fantastic signing for Seattle.
Follow Connor Hutyler on Twitter @ConnorHutyler.