Former Seahawks Pro Bowl Pass Rusher Makes Final Decision on Season

Seattle Seahawks

Getty Michael Bennett is retiring from the NFL.

Former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is calling it a career. Bennett was a star pass rusher on the Seahawks’ Super Bowl winning team in 2014. Bennett announced his retirement on Instagram in a heartfelt message where he admitted it “feels a little like [a] death of self.”

“Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth – the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett said. “I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life.”

Bennett included a graphic with a quote from Toni Morrison and also ended his Instagram message with the same words.

“As the great Toni Morrison said: ‘Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another,'” Bennett ended his message.

Bennett Pitched the Idea of a Return to the Seahawks

Prior to Bennett’s retirement, there had been some rumblings that the defensive end could potentially end his career with the Seahawks. Bennett admitted that he was open to a return earlier this offseason, but the Seahawks opted to bring back Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa instead.

“I would love to end my career in Seattle,” Bennett noted on the Talkin’ Seahawks podcast, per Yahoo Sports. “It’s not up to you, though. It’s up to the team. …I think it could be good. It’s always good to have a good veteran defender that can help young guys. A lot of guys have skill in the NFL, but a lot of them don’t know how to study tape. Having a guy who knows how to study and could bring in some veteran leadership to go along with some great young talent, I would always think that’s a good idea.”

Bennett’s recent comments turned heads given some of his feedback about the Seahawks after he left Seattle. Despite playing for multiple teams, Bennett will likely be best remembered for his time with the Seahawks during the Legion of Boom era of Pete Carroll’s defense.

Bennett Also Played for the Bucs, Eagles, Patriots & Cowboys

Bennett began his career with the Buccaneers before the Seahawks took a chance by signing him to a one-year deal in 2013. The pass rusher spent more time in Seattle than any other NFL team.

Bennett also had stints with the Eagles and Patriots. The defensive end finished out his career playing nine games for the Cowboys last season. Part of the tension between Bennett and the Seahawks was the pass rusher’s comments about Carroll after he was traded in 2018.

“Interesting nugget from @GregBishopSI on @710ESPNSeattle: Michael Bennett told him he’d read books during team meetings last year because he’d already heard whatever Pete Carroll was saying. Helps explain why the Seahawks moved on despite minimal cap savings, solid production,” ESPN’s Brady Henderson tweeted in 2018.

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