Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Michael Bennett
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bennett spent 11 years making a huge impact on the field, now he’ll be looking to do the same after announcing his retirement from the NFL.

Michael Bennett retires after 11-year NFL career

Bennett, 34, shared on Instagram Tuesday that he is stepping away from football after 11 years in the NFL. While he will be hanging up his cleats, the former three-time Pro Bowl selection is already focused on the next chapter of his life.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Bennett opened up about his decision to ultimately walk away from the game he loves. Along with many of his peers, Bennett has dedicated much of his time to promoting social justice and calling out systemic inequalities in the United States.

Michael Bennett’s stats and impact on the field

Bennett came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2009, signing with the Seattle Seahawks. The 6-foot-4 defensive end was waived during the 2009 season, never seeing the field.

He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, developing from a situational pass rusher into an impact defender. After recording six combined sacks in his first three seasons, Bennett enjoyed a breakout season in 2012 with 18 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

Bennett returned to the Seahawks that offseason, emerging as a key figure in Seattle’s dominant defense. In his first two seasons, he racked up 15.5 total sacks with 27 tackles for loss and won a Super Bowl in 2013.

He then blossomed into a Pro Bowl pass rusher over the next three years. He was named to the Pro Bowl from 2015-’17, recording 22 sacks.

Bennett spent the 2018 season with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the New England Patriots before the 2019 season. He was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in October, recording four sacks in nine games.

Bennett will retire with 193 quarterback hits, 132 tackles for loss and 69.5 sacks in his career.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick