Defensive end Michael Bennett was a key member of the Seattle Seahawks defense during their run to the title last season, and now he is set to hit the open market and become one of the league's premier free-agent targets.
Many have discussed the possibility of Bennett, who suggested he is unwilling to take a hometown discount to remain in Seattle, joining his brother Martellus with the Chicago Bears. However, it could be one of the Seahawks' NFC West rivals that presents the greatest competition for Bennett's services.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, there could be a "bidding war" for Bennett between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.
It would be an interesting fit for Bennett in the 49ers' 3-4 defensive scheme after he's spent his career playing as a defensive end in a 4-3. So, Florio reasons, the 49ers may just be interested in driving up the asking price for Bennett, making it difficult for the Seahawks to keep him in the NFC West.
Bennett is expected to demand a big pay day and the interest from teams around the league will only hurt Seattle's chances of re-signing him. Along with the 49ers, Seahawks and Bears, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders are also expected to pursue Bennett.