New England Patriots

Michael Bennett of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth,

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett, who spent part of the 2019 season with the New England Patriots, announced his retirement Tuesday morning via Instagram.

Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth – the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett wrote in the post.

An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, Bennett caught on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three seasons before moving on to the Seattle Seahawks, where he became one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He posted at least seven sacks in four of his five seasons with the Seahawks, and was named to three Pro Bowls.

He was a part of Seattle’s legendary “Legion Of Boom” defense which went to two Super Bowls, winning one. In their Super Bowl XLIX loss to the Patriots, Bennett jumped offsides as the Patriots were attempting to kneel following Malcolm Butler’s interception, setting off an infamous fight and giving the Patriots breathing room from their own end zone.

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots and Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks clash in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia before the 2018 season, and had nine sacks for the Eagles. The next spring, he was traded to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick.

He never seemed to get his footing in New England, playing mostly in a reserve role before being suspended for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’ in October. He was traded to the Cowboys a few days later, where he finished the season with four sacks in nine games.

Stepping away from the game at the age of 34, Bennett finishes with 69.5 sacks in 156 games. He also forced 10 fumbles and recovered three.

Bennett’s younger brother Martellus also played for the Patriots, in 2016 and 2017. He announced his retirement in 2018.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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