Bennett with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014
|No. 77 - New England Patriots|
|Born:||November 13, 1985|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||274 lb (124 kg)|
|High school:||Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
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.
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). In addition, he also ran a 4.79-second 40-yard dash and jumped 36.5 inches in the vertical jump.
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.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft in
|9 ft 2 in
Bennett was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks on April 27, 2009. 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. During the preseason, he compiled nine tackles, two sacks, five QB hurries, a tipped pass and a fumble recovery. He made the final roster by the end of the preseason.
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).
Bennett was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks on March 14, 2013. He signed a 1-year contract reportedly worth $4.8 million, with $1.5 million guaranteed. On March 24, 2013, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Bennett had a torn rotator cuff. 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. Rumors had previously stated that Michael could be joining his brother Martellus in Chicago.
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.
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.
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. He was ranked 59th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
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. 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.
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.
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. The deal became official on March 14, 2018, at the start of the new NFL league year. On October 7, 2018, Bennett was penalized during a game against the Minnesota Vikings for violating the new rule about roughing the passer.
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.
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.
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. In the 2020 election, he again endorsed Sanders.
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." 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. The incident remains under investigation.
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. 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. He posted a $10,000 bail bond and was set free. Bennett pleaded not guilty in April. The court date was postponed six times: in April, May, June, August, September, October, and March 2019. On April 3, 2019, criminal charges against Bennett were dropped due to insufficient evidence.