- By D. Orlando Ledbetter The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Falcons general manger Thomas Dimitroff has talked with Seattle general manager John Schneider about trading for defensive lineman Michael Bennett, according to two people familiar with the talks.
No trade is imminent.
Bennett, 32, is a three-time Pro Bowler and played for Falcons coach Dan Quinn when he was an assistant with the Seahawks.
The Falcons believe they are going to lose veteran defensive tackle Dontari Poe in free agency.
Seattle has been trying to trade Bennett for a week.
Bennett was second on the team with 8½ sacks in 2017.
He signed a three-year extension in December 2016, but after the season Bennett expressed doubts about his future after the Seahawks' final game. He told The (Tacoma) News Tribune that he "probably won't be back next year."
In Seattle, Quinn used Bennett at defensive end and at tackle in nickel defense.
The Falcons have Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley set to start at end for next season. Adrian Clayborn, who led the Falcons in sacks last season, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.
The Falcons believe Poe will get a lucrative contract in free agency.
“Dontari did a heck of a job for us this year,” Dimitroff said recently. “We really liked his impact for us especially in the run game of course, understanding that it may be a one-year deal. We are in a spot right now there’s a very good chance he’s going to free agency and land a very lucrative deal.”
Bennett was signed as an undrafted rookie by Seattle in 2009. Tampa Bay claimed him of waivers. He played defensive tackle for the Bucs from 2009-12. He went to Seattle in 2013 and played two seasons under Quinn, who was the Seahawks defensive coordinator before being named the Falcons head coach in 2015.
Bennett, who’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 271 pounds, has played in 125 games and has made 90 starts.