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Michael Bennett to test free agent market

NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) returns a recovered fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today Sports

Michael Bennett has said he 100 percent wants to be back with the Seattle Seahawks. He has also made it perfectly clear that he wants to get paid.

Bennett is set to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday and is PFT’s top-rated defensive player on the free agent market.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Bennett will not re-sign with Seattle before he becomes a free agent as he wants to test the market.

Bennett entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks in 2009. He was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played his first four seasons with the Buccaneers before returning to Seattle last season. Bennett had hoped to cash in after posting nine sacks with the Buccaneers in 2012. Instead, a deflated market for defensive ends led Bennett to accept a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks.

Bennett led the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks in the regular season and added 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in the playoffs.

At 28 years old and with consecutive productive seasons behind him, Bennett wants a long-term deal as it may be his only chance to truly cash in during his career.

Bennett remains a top priority for Seattle. They released receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Red Bryant to help free up cap space to help potentially accommodate a new deal for Bennett.

Bennett says talks have been positive so far with the Seahawks. However, with one chance to earn a big pay-day, Bennett wants to make sure he’s getting paid top dollar for his services.