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March 19, 2012 @ 1:08 pm
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

Bennett Happy To Stay In Tampa, Looks Forward To 2012

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Restricted free agent defensive end Michael Bennett signed his tender offer today, and told Pewter Report.com he is excited about the upcoming season.
The Buccaneers announced today that restricted free agent defensive end Michael Bennett has signed his first-round tender offer. The tender will pay Bennett $2.7 million for the upcoming 2012 season, contingent on no other team signing Bennett. If that highly unlikely scenario were to take place, the Buccaneers would receive the signing team’s first round draft pick.

Bennett talked to Pewtereport.com just after signing his tender.

“It is a real honor to play for the Buccaneers,” Bennett said. “I love the organization and (general manager) Mark Dominik has always had my back. For them to think this highly of me, I feel honored.”

Bennett is ready for the season to get underway and erase the memories of the disappointing 2011 season.

“Everyone is excited to go out there and prove we were better than last year,” Bennett said. “Not making any excuses, but it was tough with the young team we had especially with no offseason together. Everyone will have another year under our belt and we will have a better understanding of what we need to do to succeed. Some guys worked out on their own but I think some guys, especially the first and second year guys, need that structure of an offseason.”

Bennett saw his most action this past season with the Buccaneers, playing in 14 games with 10 starts, as he recorded a team-leading nine tackles for loss to go with 47 tackles, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and four sacks, the second-most on the team.

Bennett has played in three seasons with Tampa Bay after being claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. In his career, he has started 12 of the 34 games he has played, recording 73 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, 21 quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Bennett originally entered the NFL with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

Last modified on Monday, 19 March 2012 13:20

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  • avatar

    I just got back from being out of the country for a couple weeks and wow what a change at one buccaneer place. I am so happy that we signed these free agents even if the value was a little high for some of them. I might start looking to purchase a couple season tickets now. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I am very happy for Bennett. Stopping the run is just as big a priority for the Buc's D as getting sacks against the passing attack. Getting the most tackles for loss is a real biggie to me. We do need Bennett for the rotation. I agree that Bowers should be the starter by the end of Preseason, but the Defensive Coordinator would be smart to rotate Bennett to substitute on either side of the Defensive Line if the opponent starts ripping off some big yards on the ground. I think George, who played for Schiano at Rutgers, will end up the other backup DE to be used when they feel they can get to the QB with a speed rush to the outside, but will not be a force against the run. That is why Bennett is so crucial to stay a Buc. I sure hope we still land Lofton or an equivalently gifted MLB in free agency. We should be able to get a capable RB in the second round of the draft to pair with Blunt, but there is just not an ideal MLB available in the draft this year, and we know Foster proved he is not the answer there either. The Bucs have to get one in free agency and I agree with Mark that they should do so. Good article Mark!
  • avatar

    Hey JonnyG! Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? Wasn't this signing nearly a month ago? What's the attitude of Cardinals' QB Kevin Kolb after the red birds flirted with Manning?
  • avatar

    Mark- I love how you keep us informed with constant updates "You rock", lol
  • avatar

    Yeah Mark, the understanding out there is that Lofton has had a offer in hand from the Bucs for days now, and other than hearing that the Bucs made him that offer and that he visited with the Saints over the weekend, there hasn't been bupkis in term news about what the heck he's doing...I heard too that GMC and Davin J were lobbying him via twitter to sign..So What Gives with him!?!? On a side note, I'd really like to see the Bucs add one more FA beside Lofton in one Michael Bush who I believe would be a perfect matching with Blount, AND he's already an accomplished blocker/ receiver as well.
  • avatar

    Iam glad they brought him back. He was one of the up and coming players. Don't worry fans they will get a veteran in, besides they could take Trent Richardson and boy I believe he will give defensives around the league fits.
  • avatar

    Hope it's not on the Red Board!
  • avatar

    I'm glad to see this signing. Hes a solid DE. Mark Cook, do you know why the Bucs let the Panthers sign Mike Tolbert....as a FB no less. We need all the help we can get in the backfield.
  • avatar

    Are you guys hacking my computer? Ha! Seriously I am also writing about the need at RB, although I believe it can be filled drat wise as opposed to the LB issue. I will attempt to reach Lofton's agent again tomorrow but he hasn't been very good at returning calls
  • avatar

    Bennett is a force...and keeps the depth we need on the line for rotation...great news!!!
  • avatar

    I personally think Bennett is a decent backup DE but a poor pass rusher. I think Bowers will take over starting LDE before the start of this season. He's faster, stronger, and just needs the chance... Mark, what do you think the chances are we somehow land Lofton or another quality LB before the draft???
  • avatar

    I'm writing about it for my Confidential tomorrow, but I would be shocked if they didnt bring a veteran in.
  • avatar

    Mark - You rock. Keep up the good work.
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