Best player No. 5 for the Seahawks

In the continuing countdown of the top 12 players for the Seahawks entering the 2014 season, this man played his way, and danced his way, into stardom.

No. 5: Defensive lineman Michael Bennett: He’s coming off the best season of his career, a year that propelled him into the elite level of defensive linemen.

Bennett signed a one-year deal with Seattle for $5 million in 2013, knowing he needed to come in and prove what he could do. Man, did he ever. Bennett was the best defensive lineman on a team full of good ones.

He finished the regular season with 8.5 sacks, but that doesn’t tell you how relentlessly he played on every snap, never taking a play off when he was on the field.

Bennett was a disruptive force at both end and defensive tackle. He also proved to be one of the most likeable and funniest guys on the team. He told a story during the season about how he pretended to be Russell Wilson while making a reservation on the phone so he could get the best table at an exclusive Seattle-area restaurant.

Bennett fit in better than anyone could have imagined, on and off the field. That’s why the Seahawks made him their top priority as a free agent they wanted to keep.

Contract status: Bennett signed a four-year, 28.5 million deal with the Seahawks, turning down more money to go to Chicago and join his brother, tight end Martellus Bennett. But the Seahawks gave Bennett $16 million in guaranteed money.

Bennett took some criticism from Seattle fans when he said he had no intention of giving a home-team discount. “This isn’t Costco,” he said. But in the end, he did give the Seahawks a bit of discount because he loves Seattle and feels comfortable in the organization.

His new trademark: Bennett now is known as much for his usual celebration dance as he is his playing ability. A national TV audience saw it on "Monday Night Football" when he scored a 22-yard touchdown off a fumble recovery against New Orleans on Dec. 2. But some folks might want to hide the children when Bennett breaks out in his Elvis-like, pelvic-thrust dance that could come with an R-rating.