Wearing a new, neon-green practice jersey that was as bright as the brilliantly sunny day, Michael Bennett beamed, too.
Any time he wasn’t taking part in defensive-end drills at the start of the first day of Seahawks training camp, he was dancing. Shimmying his big shoulders. Swaying his head and beard, with his helmet on and when it was off.
He certainly didn’t look disgruntled.
The defensive end had made some waves across the Pacific this spring when he told a Honolulu television station he was considering staying at his family’s offseason home in Hawaii rather than report on time to camp. That was after he skipped all voluntary team activities this offseason to show he’s unhappy with how many other ends in the league have surpasses the four-year, $28.5 million contract with $16 million guaranteed he signed before the 2014 season.
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But he was present and participating Friday. He said he went up "until the last minute" Wednesday before deciding with his wife and family to report on time to team headquarters. He added he believes "I made the right decision."
"It’s important for me to be out here to show to continue to show them what kind of player I am in a dominant fashion every day, in and out. Just show that I am a leader to just come out here," he said.
"I’m still upset about my contract situation," he said with a shrug, mentioning he plays “five positions” up and down the defensive line and excells at all of them for a championship team. "But it’s one of those things where it is what it is. I have to be professional and be out here and be the leader that I’ve always been, and help this team get back to where it’s supposed to be."
Bennett said coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider told him how important it was that he be there. Bennett said he will play out this coming season and then look for the Seahawks to move some money around for him in the spring of 2016, when he will still have two seasons remaining on his contract.