Michael Bennett re-signs with Seahawks for 4 years, $28.5M
BY PATRICK FINLEY AND ADAM L. JAHNS Staff reporters March 10, 2014 3:38PM
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 11: Running back Darren Sproles #43 of the New Orleans Saints is hit by defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at CenturyLink Field on January 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Updated: March 12, 2014 10:54PM
The Bears missed out on signing Michael Bennett, the Seahawks’ star defensive end who decided Monday to re-up with the defending Super Bowl champs.
Those fans expecting another big name, though, can cross at least two off their wish list. The Bears weren’t considering either safety Jairus Byrd or defensive end Michael Johnson as of Monday afternoon, sources told the Sun-Times.
Much can change between now and the start of free agency at 3 p.m. Tuesday, but the two are amongst the most attractive on the market. Byrd, whose father Gill once coached for Lovie Smith’s Bears, is the premier available defensive back; the three-time Pro Bowler turned down a deal from his current team, the Bills. Johnson, who had 11 ½ sacks two years ago for the Bengals, isn’t a match with the Bears, either.
He was considered the second-best 4-3 defensive end available in free agency, behind Bennett, who reportedly received a 4-year, $28.5-million pact from the Seahawks. Bennett’s brother, Bears tight end Martellus, had pushed for a family reunion as late as Monday.
But sources said Michael Bennett decided he wanted to stay in Seattle despite having higher offers from at least two other teams.
Only players’ agents can negotiate with outside teams until 3 p.m. Tuesday, when free agency officially begins.