Although there is nothing imminent, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Falcons are looking into acquiring Bennett. They need more pass-rush help, and coach Dan Quinn certainly knows how to best utilize the 32-year-old Bennett, who has made the Pro Bowl the last three seasons.
Quinn was Seattle's defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014 when the Seahawks boasted the league's top defense. During those two seasons, Bennett accumulated 15.5 sacks, 69 tackles, two forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown in 1,342 snaps played.
Bennett's most disruptive game during that 32-game span was the 2014 season opener against Green Bay, in which he sacked Aaron Rodgers twice and forced a fumble that led to a safety in a 36-16 win. Bennett started the game at right defensive end, moved over to left end after a couple of series, then rushed from the inside next to left end Cliff Avril all within the first half. It showed how Quinn was willing to move Bennett around to different spots, knowing Bennett could beat tackles off the edge with his quickness and handwork while overpowering guards from the inside.
Of course, Bennett is a few years older now and might not have the same quickness. But he's still an effective pass-rusher, as his 8.5 sacks in 883 defensive snaps last season showed.
Bennett's versatility is something Quinn would "feature," as Quinn often likes to say. The Falcons thought they could feature two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe more in a pass-rush role when Poe signed a one-year, $8 million contract and left Kansas City a year ago. Poe did his job as a run-stuffer but just didn't contribute to the pass rush the way the Falcons had hoped he would, with 2.5 sacks.
The Falcons thought they'd get some interior push from Jack Crawford, who came over from the Cowboys, but Crawford went on injured reserve with a biceps tear after just four games. Derrick Shelby, just released last week, was another guy the Falcons thought could help bring more pressure from the interior.
The Falcons actually improved their sack numbers last season with 39, as opposed to 34 during the 2016 season. Adrian Clayborn led the way with 9.5 sacks, but Clayborn is expected to play elsewhere this coming season as an unrestricted free agent.
Sacks don't always tell the story, however. The Falcons didn't get enough consistent pressure throughout last season, especially up the middle. It allowed opposing quarterbacks to stand in the pocket too long and sustain drives. It also prevented the Falcons from creating more turnovers, with the lack of tipped balls and overall disruption.
Bennett could help solidify the interior rush alongside nose tackle Grady Jarrett, with former sack champ Vic Beasley Jr. and Takk McKinley rushing off the edges. Not to mention Bennett could make the Falcons more stout against the run at defensive end on early downs, something Clayborn didn't provide as more of a pass-rush specialist.
The Falcons likely could acquire Bennett for a late-round pick or two. It probably would just be a matter of their willingness to take on the final three years of his contract, with Bennett carrying cap numbers of $7.375 million, $8.725 million and $10.225 million over the next three seasons. The Seahawks certainly want to make the move before the fifth day of the new league year, when Bennett is due a $3 million roster bonus. The new league year and free agency begin March 14.