Michael Bennett: "I Love Seattle, I Love the Fans Here. I Want to Retire a Seahawk"

Michael Bennett and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll discuss the contract extension the defensive end signed Friday.

Michael Bennett had to make Friday afternoon's unscheduled press conference a brief affair, and for a good reason.

"Lunch date with my wife and kids," Bennett explained.

And Bennett, his wife Pele and their three daughters had plenty to celebrate at Friday's lunch, which came on the same day Bennett signed a multi-year contract extension with the Seahawks.

Bennett, 31, began his career with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent before spending four seasons in Tampa Bay, then returned to Seattle as a free agent in 2013. Now, after signing this deal Friday, there's a good chance the two-time Pro Bowler can finish his career where it began.

"I just love Seattle, I love the city, I love the fans here, I love the culture of the city, I love the Seahawks," Bennett said. "I want to retire a Seahawk. My teammates are great teammates, it's just a great place to be."

Bennett arrived in Seattle in 2013 along with Cliff Avril with the Seahawks hoping those two could upgrade the team's pass rush, and that duo has been everything the Seahawks could have hoped for and more, with Bennett earning Pro-Bowl honors each of the past two seasons and Avril making the Pro Bowl for the first time this season.  

"It's a good day," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "We have a chance to recognize Mike and do something for the future. The guy has been a terrific player for us and he has been a great team guy for us. Mike has been a guy who was hoping he'd have a chance to retire as a Seahawk and wants to be here and be part of this thing. He has shown nothing but that, so it's nice recognition for him."

A new contract is good news for Bennett's future, as well as that of the Seahawks defense, which has benefited from Bennett developing into one of the league's best and most versatile defense linemen since coming to Seattle.

"He has really special talent," Carroll said. "You hear me talking about uniqueness, Mike is a really unique football player. He's not the biggest or the strongest or the fastest, he's just a terrific football player. We try to utilize Mike in positions and give him areas and spots in the defense where he can utilize his savvy and that natural feel he has. There are times Mike takes some chances that sometimes bite us, but the great majority of the time, he's able to utilize his instincts, the scheme, and then we can play the defense the way we want to and allow him to be really active. I would think most people that play us are really concerned about Mike, because you're not quite sure how he's going to hit it and how he's going to get in the back field. Every game, he makes a play in the backfield defending the running game and he's always a factor in the pass game. He has been a great asset to us."

Part of Bennett being a great asset has been his professionalism while openly expressing his desire for a new contract. Bennett has long been open about the fact that he wanted a new deal, but he never let that interfere with the way he prepared or played.

"Mike expressed something quite a while back, so it has come to this day where we finally have a chance to make a statement about it," Carroll said. "He has always done his thing, he has always done football the way it's supposed to be done, he has always been a good team guy, he has always fought for us just as well as anybody on this team. It's a good day."

Avril, one of Bennett's closest friends, referred to his fellow defensive end as "a true pro" for the way he has performed with contract uncertainty hanging over him, and Avril, who himself signed a contract extension late in the 2014 season, couldn't be happier for his friend and teammate.

"That's awesome man," Avril said. "He deserves it. He has been playing lights out the last few years. He deserves every bit of it and then some. It's cool to know he's going to be around for a few years, and he's got a lot of good football in him."

Bennett and the Seahawks are banking on Avril being correct about that "a lot of good football in him" part, but whenever his career comes to an end, Bennett is happy that Friday's news increased the chances of him finishing that career with the Seahawks.

"It's pretty cool to be somewhere where you put a lot of work in and you've done a lot of great things for the organization," Bennett said. "And to actually get a chance to retire in that place is special."

Take a look back at some of the best photos of Michael Bennett as the Seahawks defensive end signs a multi-year contract extension with the club.

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