The Chicago Bears were very interested in the possibility of signing Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett at the start of free agency tomorrow. The team pushed hard for Bennett, even using tight end Martellus Bennett, Michael's brother, to lobby on the club's behalf.
Alas, Bennett will not hit the open market and has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Seahawks. Pro Football Talk was the first to report the news. The deal is worth $28.5 million, with $16 million guaranteed.
The Bears now must turn to Plan B in order to upgrade the defensive line, which is reportedly Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson. The club has shown interest in Johnson, who two seasons ago had 11.5 sacks. At 27 years old, Johnson can apply pressure off the edge and is solid against the run. After picking up just 3.5 sacks last season, he could come at a much more palatable price than Bennett.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is entering his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.