Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett announced his retirement Tuesday morning in an Instagram post. Bennett, who had been unsigned this offseason, played nine games with the Cowboys in 2019 after being acquired midseason from the Patriots in exchange for what became a sixth-round pick.
The Texas A&M product entered the league as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft with the Seahawks. He didn't play in a regular-season game for them that season before his career took him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was not until a second stint in Seattle when he started to become more of a household name, going to three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2015-2017. Bennett has been well-traveled in the past two seasons with the aforementioned Patriots and Cowboys as well as the Eagles.
Bennett was a member of the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks. Over the course of his 11-season career -- including four with the Buccaneers and five with the Seahawks -- he registered 359 tackles, 69.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He recorded 6.5 of those sacks last season between the Patriots and Cowboys. The Patriots suspended him for a Monday Night Football game against the Jets for conduct detrimental to the team. Bennett claimed the suspension occurred over "philosophical differences" and later apologized.
As the Louisiana born defender's career comes to an end, it sounds as though he will seamlessly transition into a role raising awareness for social justice matters. According a The New Yorker article, Bennett started a podcast entitled "Mouthpeace" with his wife, Pele. A book entitled "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable" is also in development. Social justice had been a platform for which he raised awareness during his playing days, including raising the Black Panther fist as part of a sack celebration in 2017.