The XLVIII Super Bowl champion, Michael Bennett, announced today his retirement from professional football. The strong defensive back who spent 11 seasons in the league shared the news on his Instagram account.
“Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth — the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett wrote.
The 34-year old spent his last season playing for the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys. He was traded to Texas on October 24 in exchange for the seventh-round pick. Bennett wasn’t projected to be a starting defensive back, but was instead support, and he had four sacks in nine games played.
Throughout his career, Bennett played for five teams, starting in Seattle, where he came as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He would be waived later that year, but instantly picked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he eventually become one of the better defenders in the league.
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Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth – the opportunity to reimagine my purpose. ⠀ I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life. ⠀ As the great Toni Morrison said: “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.“
In 2013 he went back to Seattle, and won the Super Bowl, becoming one of the key players in their ferocious defense. For the next five years, he wore the Seahawks’ jersey and was among the top defenders in the league.
Pete Carroll’s boys reached the Super Bowl once more, but this time they would lose against the New England Patriots. Bennett earned three straight Pro-Bowl appearances in Seattle and was one of the team’s most important players.
He was drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2018, who were the NFL champions at the time. Bennett played all 16 games, posting 34 tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles. After one year, the Eagles sent him and the seventh-round pick to New England. In total, he appeared six in six contests for Belichick’s crew.
Throughout his career, Bennett played in 156 games, 101 as a starter. He had 69.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, and was an integral part of one of the best defenses in the history of football when he played in Seattle.
According to his words, he will spend more time with his family and will like to dedicate all of his resources to help athletes in their fight for social and racial justice.
Bennett’s brother, Martellus, was also an NFL player, and a Super Bowl LI champion with the New England Patriots.