Report: Seahawks favorites for Michael Bennett

Mar 10, 2014, 10:37 AM | Updated: 11:48 am

By Brady Henderson

The reports and rumors about Michael Bennett keep coming, and the latest bode well for the free-agent defensive lineman’s chances of returning to Seattle.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Seahawks “have emerged as the favorite” for Bennett and an announcement could come as early as Monday afternoon. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Bennett was inside the Seahawks’ facility Sunday and is weighing an offer from Seattle that averages $8 million over four years.

This comes a day after a report from the Chicago Tribune stated that the Bears appear to be pursuing Bennett heavily, which was widely projected given their connection to him and need for defensive-line help. Brad Biggs of the Tribune reported Monday that according to a source, the Bears are offering Bennett $8.5 million a year.

Albert Breer, also from the NFL Network, reported Monday that the “Seahawks are confident internally they’ll be able to push the Michael Bennett deal over the goal line” and that there is “mutual motivation to get it done.”

Bennett, 28, led the Seahawks in sacks with 8.5 in the regular season and 1.5 more in the playoffs while playing on a one-year contract worth $4.8 million. He’s seeking a multi-year deal and has expressed a strong desire to return to Seattle, which would mean passing up a chance to play with his brother Martellus, the Bears’ starting tight end.

Michael Bennett played it coy Monday morning when he and Martellus were guests on the NFL Network, responding to a question about the reports linking him to the Bears by saying: “You’ve just go to stay tuned, man. Like a suspenseful movie, I’ve just got to leave it suspenseful right now.”

Saturday marked the beginning of a three-day window during which teams can negotiate with prospective free agents before the start of free agency on Tuesday. Bennett is free to re-sign with Seattle at any time, though.

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