Three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Tuesday that he is retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL.
Bennett, 34, rose to prominence as a valued and versatile lineman for the Seattle Seahawks from 2013-2017 and has 69.5 career sacks.
“Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth — the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett posted to Instagram on Tuesday. “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.’”
Bennett finished last season with the Dallas Cowboys following a midseason trade from the New England Patriots. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.
In his final three seasons with Seattle, Bennett was a Pro Bowl selection. The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 with Bennett as an anchor of the front four.
Prior to joining the Seahawks, Bennett was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He signed as an undrafted free agent from Texas A&M in 2009.