Michael Bennett (No. 71) returns to the Seahawks (USA Today Sports Images)
The Seattle Seahawks continued to beef up their front seven on Thursday night, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with free agent defensive lineman Michael Bennett, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports.
According to Florio, Bennett's deal is worth $5 million.
Bennett brings a lot of versatility to a coaching staff that has demonstrated an ability to take full advantage of players with unique attributes. Bennett is stout against the run and could play defensive end or tackle in base defenses while sliding inside to rush the passer from a defensive tackle spot. The Seahawks gave defensive lineman Jason Jones $4.5 million in 2012 to fill that role. Jones missed nearly half the season with injuries and posted three sacks in just over 31 percent of the team's defensive snaps before landing on injured reserve.
The Seahawks hope that Bennett can get to opposing quarterbacks - particularly those named Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford - at the same rate he did in 2012. Bennett has a good opportunity to do so in Seattle, who moments before the news of Bennett's impending signing broke, held a conference call for the media with pass-rushing defensive end Cliff Avril, who joined the team on a two-year, $15 million contract.
If Bennett produces in Seattle, he could beat the three-year, $9.5 million contract that Jones signed with the Detroit Lions this week.
Originally signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2009, the 6-foot-4, 271-pound Bennett made the team's 53-man roster coming out of training camp, but was waived without appearing in a game so the team could make room for offensive tackle Kyle Williams. Bennett's first defensive line coach in the NFL was Dan Quinn, who re-joined the Seahawks as the defensive coordinator replacement for Gus Bradley, who left in January to become the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bennett was claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, over the last three-plus seasons, has started 28 of 50 games and posted 15 sacks, including a career-high nine sacks in 2012. Prior to agreeing to terms with the Seahawks, Bennett was visiting the Miami Dolphins and was scheduled to visit the Lions.
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