Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Chicago Bears are in “strong pursuit” of free-agent defensive end Michael Bennett and that other clubs interested in Bennett expect him to land in the Windy City, where his brother, Martellus, is a tight end. An unrestricted free agent, Bennett led the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks last season and is one of their top offseason priorities.
According to Biggs, “Officials of three other clubs linked Bennett to the Bears and two said they expect it to happen after free agency opens Tuesday. Once source said Bennett could visit Halas Hall of Tuesday, but the rules of the current negotiating window prohibit such a meeting from taking place.”
Biggs added that there is “plenty of time” for the situation to change and that the Seahawks are still in play for Bennett, Seattle’s best defensive lineman during its Super Bowl season.
The 28-year-old Bennett, who went undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2009, signed with the Seahawks April 29 that year. The Seahawks waived him Oct. 10, 2009 and he hooked on with Tampa Bay, spending the remainder of 2009 plus 2010-12 with the Buccaneers.
The Seahawks signed Bennett to a one-year contract March 14 worth $4.8 million with $1.5 million guaranteed. Bennett proved to be the best free-agent acquisition made by the Seahawks.
Bennett has stated his desire is to remain with the Seahawks, but that he will not take a “hometown” discount in order to do so.
“This isn’t Costco. This isn’t Wal-Mart. This is real life,” he said in an interview on The NFL Network.