Bennett says goodbye to Seattle fans; Seahawks may part ways with Sherman, too

Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks and Richard Sherman #25 huddle with teammates during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — Several NFL insiders are reporting that the Seattle Seahawks will cut ties with several key players including DE Michael Bennett and CB Richard Sherman.

NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter first tweeted the news Wednesday morning.

Bennett seemed to confirm the trade to the Philadelphia Eagles  later Wednesday by tweeting an image of himself in an Eagles jersey. And he said goodbye to Seahawks fans in an Instagram post.


(The Associated Press reported that the Eagles acquired Bennett from the Seahawks on Wednesday, three people familiar with the trade said. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the trade information. Sources told ESPN that Bennett and a seventh-round draft pick will be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fifth-round pick and WR Marcus Johnson. Johnson has five catches for 45 yards in 10 career games.)

According to NFL Network’s Rapoport, Sherman has been telling teammates goodbye for the past day.

Earlier this year, Sherman said he hoped to be back with the Seattle Seahawks as he entered the final year of his $11 million contract. The cornerback also revealed that he’s been acting as his own agent for the last year.

In January, we learned that Sherman needed another surgery — this time to clean up bone spurs in his other ankle. He was already recovering from a ruptured right Achilles during a November game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Sherman’s mom Beverly seemed to confirm the news in a Facebook post, but she later deleted it.

Last season, Sherman had 25 tackles and 2 interceptions.

Bennett had 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hits in 16 starts for the Seahawks last season.

NFL players are reacting to the news on Twitter:

He was named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster, the third year in a row he’s made the team.

Bennett also did some work for the NFL Network Super Bowl coverage, at one point getting animated about the time “we threw the ball on the 1-yard line!” in Super Bowl XLIX.

Off the field Michael Bennett has been a leader in calling for the NFL's support of a campaign for racial equality and criminal justice reform.

“I think it’s important that people see that players are not only being great players, not only being fathers, not only being teammates, but also being committed to their community not just in their city but around the whole United States,” said Bennett. “I think that just shows what type of people we have in this league.”

Last year, Bennett had an ugly run-in with Las Vegas police last month for which he planned to file a civil rights lawsuit.

Bennett said he feared for his life while being detained after an incident in Las Vegas after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

“I’m just lucky to be here to be able to speak about it,” he said. “At any moment, I could’ve made the wrong decision whether to move, or (if police) felt like I was resisting or doing something wrong, and the Seahawks would be wearing the patch with No. 72 on it,” he said, referencing a common way NFL teams memorialize players they’ve lost.

Police disputed Bennett’s account of the incident.

‘Things That Make White People Uncomfortable’

Bennett, the Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end, has been talking for months about a book he’s been writing called “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.”

The book now has a release date. According the Haymarket Books, the publisher, it will be available in hardback on April 3 and as an e-book on April 25.

Shaun King, a columnist for The Intercept, wrote about the upcoming book.

“I was going to say this is the most courageous books on race written by an athlete in my lifetime, but I actually think this is one of the most courageous books on race and racism in America that has ever been written by anyone,” King wrote. “It’s that good and that important.”

More offseason changes coming?

Last week, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider said no player on the roster was untouchable in a trade scenario.

In an interview with Q13 Sports Editor Aaron Levine at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Schneider said potential players and trades are talked about all the time.

“I think it would blow people’s minds … the things we talk about,” Schneider said. “It’s just part of the process. Is it something that’s completely real or not real? I don’t know yet. People ask us about players and we ask other teams about their players.”

Asked if this is the most challenging off-season because of the tight salary cap for the Seahawks, he said, “Yeah, yeah. It means you’ve had a lot of good players. If you have a lot of cap room, that means you’re probably picking pretty high (in the draft) and we don’t want that.

“But it’s a challenge,” he said of the salary cap limitations. “We’re going to be aggressive and competitive (in free agency) as we’ve always been.”

NFL free agency and trading starts March 14.