Michael Bennett: QBs get inflated deals, overreact to getting hit

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett is a fan of neither the inflated market for NFL quarterbacks nor the way some of them react to getting hit.

Bennett made both of those points clear -- with his distinctive flair -- during an interview with Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday.

First among Bennett's grievances was the Miami Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill, who has a 23-25 record in three seasons and signed a six-year extension worth about $95 million in May.

"Quarterback is the only position in the NFL where you could be mediocre and get paid. At every other position, you can't be mediocre," Bennett said. "If I was Ryan Tannehill and the most games I ever won was seven, how could you get a $100 million for that? I guess that's the value of the position.

"Quarterback is the only position in the NFL where you could be mediocre and get paid. At every other position, you can't be mediocre."
Michael Bennett

"And then it's like, you're sitting at home and there's breaking news and it says that Brian Hoyer is the quarterback of the Texans. I'm like, who cares? That's not breaking news. It's really not breaking news."

Next up was the Philadelphia Eagles' Sam Bradford, who has been at the center of a recent debate about quarterbacks getting hit after handoffs. Bradford was hit low by Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs after a handoff during a preseason game on Saturday, drawing a roughing-the-passer penalty that the NFL later said wasn't warranted.

"There's some mediocre quarterbacks in the NFL that make a lot of money," Bennett said. "You take a guy like Sam Bradford -- he's never played really in the last three years, but he's made more money than most guys in the NFL."

Bennett then referenced the Bradford-Suggs play from Saturday's game and the debate it has sparked.

"Then quarterbacks get protected more than any other player. I mean, he gets hit in his knees and he's about to cry," Bennett said, making a whimpering sound. "'They hit me in my legs.' Everybody gets hit in their legs. Every play somebody tries to hit me in my legs. So what makes him different? What makes his life better than mine? I've got kids. I've got stuff I like to do on the weekend. But because he gets hit in his legs, he gets a flag. He gets up with a sad face like the world just ended because he got hit. I mean, you got hit in an NFL game. Who cares? Get back up and be like, 'Good job.'"

Bennett gave a tip of the cap to the quarterbacks who don't react that way.

"I respect Tom Brady because when Tom Brady gets hit, he gets up and is like, 'Good job. Good hit.' He gets back in the huddle and he holds his own like a man," Bennett said. "We've got guys in the NFL crying because they get hit. 'Oh, Suggs hit me and I'm running the read-option.'"

Bennett also credited Peyton Manning and Cam Newton for the toughness they show after being hit.

"But there's a whole bunch of young guys who haven't done anything in the NFL that are looking for flags," he said.

Bennett also talked about his own contract situation during the interview. He made it clear on several occasions over the offseason that he feels he's worth more than what he's making on the four-year, $28.5 million extension he signed before the 2014 season. Bennett said he considered holding out from training camp but decided to show up despite his dissatisfaction with his contract.

"I mean, I'm unhappy. But the thing is, this is my job and I can't let my unhappiness trump my professionalism," he said. "I still have to be a professional and keep trying but go out there and make sure that I'm proving why I think I'm one of the best defensive players in the league."

Bennett jokingly compared his situation to marital discord.

"I'm like a wife that's married to a guy, they have kids, and she can't leave because she loves the kids," he said. "I love the kids. Those are my teammates."