The price for Bengals defensive end and pending free agent Michael Johnson keeps going up.
He is one of the few elite pass rushers left on the NFL free-agent market. Brian Orakpo was franchise tagged by the Washington Redskins. Jason Worilds got the transition tag from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everson Griffen signed an enormous deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
And now Michael Bennett, who would have been one of the biggest names in free agency when it started on Tuesday, has decided to stay in Seattle with the Seahawks.
Bennett, who was a major contributor to the Seahawks' Super Bowl championship with 8.5 sacks, has signed a four-year deal, which was first reported by Pro Football Talk. NFL Network reported the deal is worth $28.5 million with $16 million guaranteed. Bennett probably could have gotten more money (Griffen got $20 million guaranteed with a less impressive resume than Bennett), but obviously wanted to stay in Seattle. That deal is still a big turn from last year, when Bennett hit the free-agent market but settled for a one-year deal with Seattle.
[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]
Bennett's decision is great news for Seattle's pursuit of a second straight title. It's bad news for other teams that want to grab a pass rusher. The Bears were widely rumored to be chasing Bennett, but now they'll have to find some sacks elsewhere.
Johnson, who had 26.5 sacks in his first five seasons with the Bengals, is still slated to hit the market. There aren't many impact pass rushers that will go up for bids on Tuesday. If you know about supply and demand, you can guess that Johnson's agent will get flooded with calls on Tuesday afternoon.
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