Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks vs. AFC West in exhibition season; Michael Bennett says “I never asked for a trade”

It will be yet another reunion for the Seahawks with their old AFC West rivals this summer for the 2015 preseason.

The NFL announced that Seattle will host Denver at CenturyLink Field on the first weekend of exhibition games, Aug. 13-17. On the weekend of Aug. 20-24, the Seahawks will play at Kansas City.

The third exhibition game, typically the one in which the starters get their most extensive and final playing time before the games get real, is at San Diego on Aug. 29. That will be a 5 p.m. game already set for a national-television broadcast on CBS.

The Seahawks’ final exhibition game is at home against Oakland on either Sept. 3 or 4. The regular season begins a week after that; the league will announce the schedule for the real games later this spring.

This will be the fifth time in six exhibition seasons Seattle and Denver have met. The Seahawks and Chargers will play for the third time in four summers. And the Seahawks will play the Raiders to end the exhibition season for the 10th consecutive year.

This 2015 exhibition season mirrors Seattle’s of 2009, with road games at the Chargers and Chiefs and home exhibitions against Broncos and Raiders. The Seahawks also played Denver, Kansas City, San Diego and Oakland during the 2014 regular season as part of the league’s rotating inter-conference schedule.

Those five teams were in the old AFC West from 1977 through the 2001 season before Seattle moved to its current NFC West.

Bennett denies report

On Seattle’s 710-AM Thursday, defensive end Michael Bennett dismissed a report last month from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that claimed Bennett wants traded from the Seahawks to Atlanta because he’s unhappy with his contract.

And he dismissed it in a way only Bennett does.

“Man, they made rumors about Jesus, they’ll make rumors about anybody,” Bennett said on the “Justin and Gee” show, his voice rising incredulously.

Asked a second time a few minutes later about the rumor he isn’t happy with a Seahawks contract that will pay him $6 million guaranteed in 2015, year two of the four-year, $28.5 million deal he signed in March 2014, Bennett said: “We’ve been talkin’ … I don’t know what the problem is. I never asked for a trade. I’m still trying to figure out how a guy in Dallas can make up a story about me, living in Seattle. It’s just like, ‘How does that happen?’

“I’m in Hawaii, surfing, got my kids in the ocean — and they talkin’ about … something else.”

Steeler suspended

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was suspended for the first three games of the regular season and fined an additional game check for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, according to various reports.

Bell is appealing the suspension.

In February, Bell received 15 months on probation in a first-offender’s program stemming from his arrest last August on marijuana possession and DUI charges with former teammate LeGarrette Blount.

Blount received a one-game suspension earlier this week.

“Le’Veon was charged with a DUI —two-game suspension — and possession of marijuana — one-game suspension and one-game fine,” NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said. “LeGarrette was not the driver, so (he was) only charged with possession — one-game suspension and one-game fine.”

The 15-month probationary program requires Bell to abstain from drugs and alcohol, complete any recommended treatment, pay a $100 fee and court costs and complete a safe-driving class.

Extra points

Safety Troy Polamalu, the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2010, told a Steelers fan website he’s retiring after 12 seasons. ... The exhibition season will open Aug. 9 when Pittsburgh and Minnesota meet in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. ... Free agent cornerback Charles Tillman signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers worth $3.05 million. ... The Browns signed free agent tight end Rob Housler to a one-year contract

News services contributed to this report.

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