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Michael Bennett (defensive lineman, born 1985)

Michael Bennett Jr. (born November 13, 1985) is an American football defensive end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas A&M, and signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Bennett has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles. He is the brother of former tight end Martellus Bennett.

Michael Bennett
refer to caption
Bennett with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014
No. 77 – New England Patriots
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1985-11-13) November 13, 1985 (age 33)
Independence, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:274 lb (124 kg)
Career information
High school:Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas)
College:Texas A&M
Undrafted:2009
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2019
Total tackles:328
Sacks:64.0
Forced fumbles:10
Fumble recoveries:3
Pass deflections:5
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Bennett attended Alief Taylor High School in Houston, Texas, where he played football, baseball, and competed in track. In football, he earned first-team All-District honors as a defensive lineman in his senior year, after compiling 110 tackles and four sacks. He also earned honorable mention All-District honors as a junior. In track & field, Bennett was a standout discus thrower, with a top-throw of 45.72 meters (147 ft).[1] In addition, he also ran a 4.79-second 40-yard dash and jumped 36.5 inches in the vertical jump.[2]

College careerEdit

In 2005, as a freshman at Texas A&M, he made 27 tackles, including 3.5 quarterback sacks, while seeing action in all 11 games and starting 4. In 2006, he was the team's top tackler among defenders that did not start a game—he posted 27 tackles, including two sacks and 6 tackles for loss, while seeing action in every game. He also forced a pair of fumbles and batted down a pass. In 2007, he was selected to the honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference team at defensive end after registered 43 tackles including six tackles for a loss of yardage. In 2008, Bennett played in 11 games and made 42 tackles with 12.5 for losses and 2.5 sacks. He also played alongside his brother, Martellus Bennett, from 2006 to 2008 at Texas A&M.

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3 12 in
(1.92 m)
274 lb
(124 kg)
5.00 s 1.62 s 2.84 s 31 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
24 reps X

Seattle Seahawks (first stint)Edit

Bennett was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks on April 27, 2009.[3] An NFL Draft analyst noted that Bennett was not drafted probably due to his inconsistent performance in college. The team initially believed he could serve at left defensive end. After working with coaches during training camp, he was moved to the inside as a pass-rushing tackle.[4][5][6] During the preseason, he compiled nine tackles, two sacks, five QB hurries, a tipped pass and a fumble recovery.[7] He made the final roster by the end of the preseason.[8][9]

Bennett was waived by the Seahawks on October 10, 2009 in order to make room for offensive tackle Kyle Williams, who was signed off of the practice squad.[10]

Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit

 
Bennett in 2012 with Tampa Bay

Bennett was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 12, 2009. Tampa Bay switched him back to defensive tackle, and he became a key part of the defense filling in for the injured Gerald McCoy.

Bennett's best season as a Buccaneer came in 2012 when he recorded career-highs in tackles (41), sacks (9), and forced fumbles (3).

Seattle Seahawks (second stint)Edit

Bennett was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks on March 14, 2013.[11] He signed a 1-year contract reportedly worth $4.8 million, with $1.5 million guaranteed.[12] On March 24, 2013, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Bennett had a torn rotator cuff.[13] On December 2, 2013, Bennett scored his first NFL touchdown against the New Orleans Saints after recovering a fumble from the Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Bennett was in fact a key contributor to the 2013 Seahawks defensive unit that ranked first in the NFL and went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

On March 10, 2014, the day before free agency began for the 2014 season, the Seahawks re-signed Bennett to a four-year, $28.5 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.[14] Rumors had previously stated that Michael could be joining his brother Martellus in Chicago.[15]

After the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game on January 18, 2015, Bennett commandeered a Seattle police officer's bicycle and took a victory lap around Century Link Field.[16]

In Super Bowl XLIX, with 18 seconds left in the end of the game, Bennett committed a neutral zone infraction. Afterward, a brawl ensued, but Bennett was unaffected. The Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots 24–28.

On October 22 of the 2015 season, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Michael Bennett recorded 3.5 sacks of Colin Kaepernick. The Seahawks won the game 20-3, and Bennett was named defensive player of the week for his performance.[17]

Eight games into the 2015 season, Bennett was ranked as the ninth-best edge defender in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. Through those eight games he had 31 total tackles (21 solo), 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 8 tackles for loss.[18] He was ranked 59th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[19]

On December 30, 2016, Bennett signed a three-year $31.5 million contract extension with the Seahawks, with one year still on his previous contract, now keeping Bennett signed through the 2020 season.[20][21] He was named to his second straight Pro Bowl in 2016, and was ranked 46th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[22]

On December 10, 2017, in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bennett struck the knees of Jaguars center Brandon Linder on a kneel down. This led to an altercation between the two teams, and that resulted in teammates Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson being ejected from the contest.[23]

On January 22, 2018, Bennett earned his third straight invite to the Pro Bowl after Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen could not attend due to injury.[24]

Philadelphia EaglesEdit

On March 7, 2018, the Seahawks agreed to a trade that would send Bennett and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth round draft pick.[25] The deal became official on March 14, 2018, at the start of the new NFL league year.[26] On October 7, 2018, Bennett was penalized during a game against the Minnesota Vikings for violating the new rule about roughing the passer.

New England PatriotsEdit

On March 14, 2019, Bennett and a seventh-round selection in the 2020 NFL draft were traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fifth-round 2020 draft selection.[27] In week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, Bennett recorded his first sack of the season in the 43-0 win. [28]

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sacks FF FR Yds Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2009 SEA/TB 7 0 3 2 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2010 TB 13 2 15 13 2 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2011 TB 14 10 39 35 4 4.0 1 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2012 TB 16 16 41 34 7 9.0 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 2
2013 SEA 16 3 31 18 13 8.5 1 1 22 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2014 SEA 16 16 38 26 12 7.0 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2015 SEA 16 16 52 33 19 10.0 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2016 SEA 11 11 34 24 10 5.0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2017 SEA 16 16 40 25 15 8.5 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2018 PHI 16 10 34 35 9 9.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Career 141 100 327 235 92 63.0 10 3 22 0 0 0.0 0 0 5

[29]

Awards and highlightsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Bennett has two sisters: Ashley Bennett and Renekia Leathers; and three brothers: Donte, Martellus, and Reshaud Bennett. His younger brother Martellus, who is a tight end, was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.[30]

Bennett's sack dance, in which he places his hands on his head and swivels his hips, is modeled after professional wrestler Rick Rude.[31]

Bennett has recently decided to sit during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before football games. He said his stance was influenced by the violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[32][33]

In the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Bennett endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, praising him for his positions on climate control and social justice.[34] In the 2020 election, he again endorsed Sanders.[35][36]

Legal issuesEdit

In August 2017, Bennett was involved in an incident outside a Las Vegas nightclub with two police officers. Bennett claimed that the officers used excessive force on him and stated the police "threatened to blow my head off."[37] The police have denied his accusations, and claim the video evidence does not corroborate Bennett's story. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said he found no evidence that three officers who encountered Bennett racially profiled him or used excessive force against him.[38] The incident remains under investigation.[39][40][41][42]

On March 23, 2018, a warrant was issued for Bennett's arrest by police in Harris County, Texas for allegedly injuring an elderly paraplegic worker at Super Bowl LI, held 13 months previously.[43] On March 26 Bennett returned to the U.S. from outside the country (where he was when his arrest warrant was issued) and surrendered to police custody.[44] He posted a $10,000 bail bond and was set free.[45] Bennett pleaded not guilty in April.[46] The court date was postponed six times: in April, May,[47] June,[48] August,[49] September,[50] October,[51] and March 2019. On April 3, 2019, criminal charges against Bennett were dropped due to insufficient evidence.[52]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Rivals.com". tamu.rivals.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Johns, Greg (August 29, 2009). "A Seahawks sleeper: Rookie Bennett making his mark". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  4. ^ "Seahawks rookie tackles new role".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ O'Neil, Danny (September 2, 2009). "Undrafted Michael Bennett showing size isn't everything on Seahawks' defensive line". The Seattle Times.
  6. ^ O'Neil, Danny (September 2, 2009). "Michael Bennett's move inside says something about Seattle's ends". The Seattle Times.
  7. ^ "Monday Morning QB".
  8. ^ "Seahawks final 53-man roster". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  9. ^ "Poster players for perseverance".
  10. ^ "Seahawks add OT Williams, release DL Bennett". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  11. ^ Farnsworth, Clare (March 15, 2013). "MICHAEL BENNETT SIGNING IS OFFICIAL". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  12. ^ Spotrac.com. "Michael Bennett". Spotrac.com.
  13. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 24, 2013). "Michael Bennett reportedly has torn rotator cuff". National Football League. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  14. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (March 10, 2014). "Michael Bennett re-signs with Seattle Seahawks". NFL.com. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  15. ^ Campbell, Rich (March 10, 2014). "Michael Bennett re-signs with Seahawks". Chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  16. ^ Quinton, Sean (January 18, 2015). "Michael Bennett takes a victory lap". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  17. ^ "Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett named NFC Defensive Player of the Week". October 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "Pro Football Focus - In-Depth Football Stats and Rankings". profootballfocus.com.
  19. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2016': No. 59 Michael Bennett". NFL.com.
  20. ^ Orr, Conor (December 30, 2016). "Michael Bennett inks $31.5M extension with Seahawks". NFL.com.
  21. ^ Kapadia, Sheil (December 30, 2016). "Michael Bennett, Seahawks reach 3-year extension". ESPN.com.
  22. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2017': No. 46 Michael Bennett". NFL.com.
  23. ^ "Michael Bennett sparked scuffle after dangerous cheap shot during Jaguars kneel-down". For the Win. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  24. ^ Boyle, John (January 22, 2018). "Seahawks Defensive End Michael Bennett Named To 2018 Pro Bowl Roster". Seahawks.com.
  25. ^ Sessler, Marc (March 7, 2018). "Seahawks trading DE Michael Bennett to Eagles". NFL.com.
  26. ^ "Eagles Acquire DE Michael Bennett From Seahawks". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. March 14, 2018. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  27. ^ McPherson, Chris (March 14, 2019). "Eagles acquire 2020 draft pick from New England for DE Michael Bennett". PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
  28. ^ "Newcomer Brown scores as Patriots beat Dolphins 43-0". www.espn.com. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Michael Bennett Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  30. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 8, 2014). "Bears appear to be looking for Bennett family reunion". NBCSports.com. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  31. ^ O'Neil, Danny (January 1, 2014). "Bennett's 'Rude' celebration has pro wrestling roots". KIRO-AM. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  32. ^ Lutz, Tom (August 14, 2017). "Michael Bennett sits for anthem with more NFL players set to follow". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  33. ^ "Seahawks' Michael Bennett Plans to Sit for National Anthem". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 14, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  34. ^ "Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett on Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: 'He's my pick'". The Seattle Times. December 23, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  35. ^ @OurRev305 (March 4, 2019). "Michael Bennett is an Eagle, Super Bowl Champ, feminist, activist, organizer, & change maker. "I supported Bernie in 2016 bc we needed an unflinching vision for transforming our world that includes people of all identities & backgrounds. In 2020 I believe the same." #Bernie2020" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  36. ^ @Thomasurlatoile (March 4, 2019). "Super Bowl winner and author Michael Bennett (Philadelphia Eagles) endorses Bernie for President" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "NFL's Michael Bennett says police threatened to 'blow my head off'". NBC News.
  38. ^ Press, Associated (September 30, 2017). "Vegas police release body cam footage, say Michael Bennett was not mistreated, profiled".
  39. ^ Boren, Cindy (September 6, 2017). "'Terrified and confused': Seahawks' Michael Bennett tells of traumatic police encounter". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  40. ^ Michael Bennett [@mosesbread72] (September 6, 2017). "Equality" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Spain, Kevin (September 7, 2017). "Las Vegas police: 'No evidence' race played role in Michael Bennett incident". KHOU. USA Today. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  42. ^ Around the NFL staff (September 6, 2017). "Bennett: Las Vegas incident a very 'traumatic :( experience'". National Football League. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  43. ^ Breech, John (March 23, 2018). "Eagles' Michael Bennett indicted on felony charge, has warrant out for arrest". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  44. ^ Kerr, Jeff (March 26, 2018). "Michael Bennett's lawyer defends client upon surrender". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  45. ^ McManus, Tim (March 30, 2018). "Michael Bennett to plead not guilty if case reaches trial". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  46. ^ Kerr, Jeff (June 12, 2018). "Michael Bennett takes the high road regarding his arrest". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  47. ^ "Michael Bennett has court date pushed back again". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  48. ^ "Michael Bennett has court date delayed once again". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  49. ^ "Michael Bennett court date pushed back once again". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  50. ^ "Michael Bennett court date postponed...again". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  51. ^ "Michael Bennett court date has been pushed back again". 247Sports. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  52. ^ "Charges against Michael Bennett dropped because of insufficient evidence". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 2, 2019.

BibliographyEdit

  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. With Dave Zirin. Foreword by Martellus Bennett. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2018.
  • The Bread of Teaching., 2009

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit