Seahawks’ Bennett addresses trade-request report, Graham criticism

Apr 9, 2015, 12:37 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm
Michael Bennett tweeted Sunday that he will no longer be speaking with The Seattle Times. (AP)...
Michael Bennett tweeted Sunday that he will no longer be speaking with The Seattle Times. (AP)
(AP)
LISTEN:

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Justin and Gee” Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since a report last month stated that he was seeking a trade to Atlanta. Bennett denied that report on Thursday, and he did so in classic Bennett fashion.

“Like I said, they made rumors about Jesus. They’ll make rumors about anybody,” he said.

Last month, a report from Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram stated that Bennett was seeking a trade to the Falcons and a new contract, this just a year after he signed a four-year, $28.5 million deal with Seattle.

It should be noted that Bennett didn’t deny – nor was he explicitly asked about – having any dissatisfaction with his contract during Thursday’s interview. He was asked a few times specifically about the report that he requested a trade and he refuted it.

“No, I never asked for – I didn’t come to them and ask for a trade,” he said. “I’m still trying figure out how a guy from Dallas made up a story about me, I’m living in Seattle and it’s like, how does this happen?”

Hill stood by his report in a Tweet after seeing Bennett’s comments on Thursday.

Bennett was also asked about his past criticism of new teammate Jimmy Graham, which he stands by.

“I still feel the same way. I mean, just because he’s on my team I don’t stop feeling that way,” Bennett said.

It was after Seattle’s win over New Orleans in the playoffs two seasons ago when Bennett called Graham “soft” and “overrated” and said he doesn’t like him “as a person or as a player.”

The Seahawks acquired Graham last month in a trade with the Saints, and afterward coach Pete Carroll downplayed the potential for that history to remain an issue in Seattle’s locker room.

“Obviously, I’m going to be a better teammate to him because he’s on my team. I can’t do the things I was doing to him when we were playing him,” Bennett said. “When he comes to our team, he’s a part of our team. We have a different philosophy than they have with the Saints so the things that he was expected to do [with] the Saints are going to be different when he comes here. Obviously, we’re a running team, so he’s going to have to block and do all those things.

“I don’t feel as harsh as I did at the time because he’s my teammate now, but at the time he was on the opposite team, a team that we played that was pretty good and we battled with them a couple times, and I didn’t really like that team.”

Other topics during Bennett’s conversation with “Justin and Gee” included his appreciation for Seahawks fans and his fellow defensive linemen, his upcoming charity event to combat obesity and his thoughts on Kris Richard taking over for Dan Quinn as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. You can listen to the conversation here.

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