The Seahawks were back at team headquarters in Renton today for the first time since packing up to leave it Feb. 3, two days after the Super Bowl. They are beginning the voluntary phase one of their offseason workout program.
Yet these sessions are as low-key as it gets. No on-field work. No media access. They are officially voluntary workouts that the league's collective bargaining agreement mandates can include only strength-and-conditioning workouts and physical rehabilitation from injuries.
That is why I don't see reason to get riled up about Michael Bennett trying to make a point by not attending the start of these sessions, per a Seattle Times report.
The defensive end who signed a four-year, $28.5 million contract with $16 million guaranteed before last season isn't totally happy with that deal now that the market continues to skyrocket past his cash to which he agreed a year ago.
Asked April 9 on KIRO 97.3 FM radio in Seattle if he was content with his contact, the dynamic force that spent much of last season in opponents' backfields said: "I mean, I can't really say that. I mean, I don't know anybody that's happy with the amount of money that they're making, but at this point I'm just trying to be a good Seahawk."
General manager John Schneider tried to make it clear last summer with Marshawn Lynch that he won't re-negotiate a contract that still has more than a year remaining on it. If he did, the GM explained a couple months ago, he'd have a line of guys almost constantly outside his office door wanting new deals.
But that's only partly true. Schneider has shown a willingness to move existing contract money around and reload later cash into guarantees up front. That’s what he did for Lynch to get him to report to 2014 training camp one week into it.
That could be what Bennett is trying to angle for here. Skipping voluntary weight lifting is a way for him to do it without getting fined.
If he's still doing this at the one, mandatory minicamp in late June and again in late July when training camp begins, then it'll be an issue.