Pending free agent defensive end Michael Bennett of the Seahawks was quite blunt when Dan Hellie of the NFL Network asked him if he would give Seattle a hometown discount on a new contract.
"There is no such thing as discount," Bennett said on NFL Total Access. "This isn't Costco, this isn't Walmart; this is real life."
Real life for Bennett is that he is going to be 29 around the midpoint of the 2014 season. He recorded 8.5 sacks and forced four fumbles for the Super Bowl champs. Bennett came into the league as an undrafted free agent so there was no big contract to start his career. There was no big contract a year ago when he was a free agent coming off of a nine-sack season in Tampa Bay so he had to settle for a one-year deal worth $4.8 million. A respectable wage, no doubt, but hardly breaking the bank by NFL standards.
At his age, this is likely his last chance to sign a hefty contract that could set up him and his family for many years to come. So even though he might like to stick around a team that seems to have a good chance to win another ring, he’s only going to stay if the Seahawks make an offer that’s competitive—very competitive—with offers from other teams.
Some fans think that certain players might be inclined to give the Redskins some sort of a hometown discount. The suggest that Brian Orakpo should stay here for less because the Redskins are the team that drafted him and that DeAngelo Hall should stay for less because he made more money than fans though he was worth for several years and that Perry Riley should give a discount because, well he just should.
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But they aren’t doing business like Costco or Walmart either. They have every right to try to get every dollar they can. Their careers are short and it’s a dangerous profession.
And, by the way, if the team thinks that the player is no longer of value to it the player will be asked to take a pay cut or just get released.
Even if the player had given them a hometown discount.