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March 14, 2013 @ 7:27 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Let Bennett Walk, Top Pass Rusher Signs With Seattle

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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The Buccaneers have publicly stated their confidence in DE Da'Quan Bowers' ability to stay healthy and upgrade Tampa Bay's pass rush. They now must hope they are correct as defensive end Michael Bennett is no longer a Buccaneer after signing a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
As free agency approached the major debate among fans was if Michael Bennett was worth the franchise tag price of $11 million. Some said yes, while others said no, the unscientific poll was basically split down the middle.

The Buccaneers organization by their actions – or lack thereof – answered with an emphatic no. And not only did they not deem him worthy of the franchise tag, the Buccaneers didn’t even feel Bennett’s value was even worth $5 million.

Thursday night the Buccaneers top pass rusher and run stuffer from the defensive line agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

In his four-year Buccaneers career the former Texas A&M standout played in 50 games while totaling 15 QB takedowns. In 2012 Bennett led the Buccaneers in sacks with nine, and was second on the team with 18 tackles for loss.

The loss of Bennett immediately drew the ire of many fans who are puzzled how the Buccaneers, who are still several million dollars under the salary cap, allowed Bennett and his production to walk.

General manager Mark Dominik, on more than one occasion over the last month, told the media that the Buccaneers were prepared to lose Bennett feeling they had an upgrade with third-year pro Da’Quan Bowers. But Bowers is relatively unproven, having just six NFL starts, and 4.5 sacks over his two seasons in Tampa Bay.

Scott Reynolds will have more details and analysis of the Bennett situation later o PewterReport.com.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 March 2013 19:42
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Not for nothing, but the Buccaneer's D has been very unbuclike since Brooks retirement. No identity! Who r they? Now, I favor the idea of letting Bennett and Miller, go. Now I appreciate their individual contributions, but you really end up with a defense that will be younger, faster, and some would argue more talented team, and the loss of Bennett won't matter as I believe that DE Bowers will soon exceed the sack numbers of Bennett, who only averaged 3-4 sacks per season! Bowers is a superior athlete as well. Like that we were able to reach Injury settlement with LB Black. Good man, wish him well. I think that one of our younger LB's will step right up. I like Dakoda Watson and look for him to make a bigger contribution this year. Need a solid draft for depth and a couple of minor FA signings and we should be fine. The bar is set at 7 wins, which will exceeded by this years Buccaneer team. I, this is what I want to see. A healthy and more athletic Freeman, in addition to Free Agents and Draft picks, Buc make palyoffs with a 10 win season! It could happen. Relax Buc Fans the ship may rock from side to side at times, but I believe some smooth sailing is just around horizon.
  • avatar


    Well since Bennett sign with seattle. Tampa must face the music. Now they must sign a 2nd tier DE & DT player along with another cb from FA. Then when the draft comes April 25-26 and 27. It will be a no brainer. With #13 They get the best player on defensive available. Tampa must look at the draft board and select the best player available. One name they don't need is safety from Texas.Iam looking at #4 Sharrif Floyd,#6 Dion Jordan#7Dee Milliner#8Star Lotuleli#9Ezekiel Ansah #10 Lane Johnson I beleiev that those players would be gone. Now look at what could be there #16 DT Sheldon Richardson#20 DJ Fluker #18XAVIER RHODES & #23 DESMOND TRUFANT these could be there.I would select Rhodes or Trufant at #13. If some of the teams that have mult 1st rd picks I would trade down for more high level picks and sart drafting GO BUCS
  • avatar


    People seem to forget that Free Agency is a two-way street.... Is it not possible that Tampa matched the offer, maybe even exceeded it, and Bennet just chose to go to a winning team??? He only signed a 1 year deal, and he'll be used in rotation so me thinks that this was more of Bennet's choosing. I don't think the market was set at what he was hoping, so he got a 1 year deal with a team that's poised to WIN NOW as opposed to Tampa which still needs some tinkering.... If he would have made this deal for Jacksonville or an equivalent team, I'd be more prone to the belief that Bucs brass did in fact offer little more than peanuts for his services.
  • avatar


    Wow, at least there are some rational people still left on this board. Since when did Michael Bennett become some sort of superstar...? Our DL was PATHETIC at getting to the QB last year, and in prior years WITH BENNETT. Yes, he had a decent year last year, and now he's getting paid for it. He will do well in that Seahawk defence where he is not the focus. But we already have a replacement in Bowers....we will draft a DL fairly high in the draft.....and we will more than likely sign another DL in free agency. Get a grip people - the roster is only completed in Aug/Sep, not in March! Please judge closer to training camp. As soon as we get some top corner in FA and draft some studs, all you complainers will be eating your words. Go Bucs!
  • avatar


    Nope - you're missing the point. Never claimed Bennet was the best DE out there. He was, however, the best DE on our team. Not a great thing to say but it's a fact. Now, there is no one left in free agency better that isn't over 33 and really a gamble. With that said, a small limited contract would have kept Bennet in TB and allowed us some time to see what Bowers and Clairborne could do when healthy. Otherwise, we REALLY have nothing. If you're banking on an excellent draft, we'll O.K. That's always possible and it remains to be seen. We now have to address the position (and early) to provide quality depth. Bottom line, we're waiting to sign a CB to what may prove to be an ungodly and crippling contract while hoping that the front seven gets better through subtraction rather than addition. I fear opposing O-Coordinators will be enjoy plenty of quality family time the week prior to playing us. I truly hope Dominik and Schiano's plan pans out...GO Bucs!
  • avatar


    Remember the name Dewayne White? He had a similar year as Bennett prior to hitting free agency and was allowed to leave and sign with the Lions. Many were outraged. Turned out his career had already peaked and did little for the Detroit team and was soon out of football. Don't you think the Bucs know a little more about Bennett's worth than the other 31 teams? He's a try-hard guy but offensive coordinators weren't staying up at night trying to figure out how to stop # 71.
  • avatar


    The "plan" appears to be pretty obvious now. Sign Revis. It's the only explaination for not spending $5 million and change on a short-term deal for Bennet (or Miller) as added insurance/depth or going after any other CB or DE/DT. The remaining cap space has to be dedicated to sign whatever insane deal they seem is worth for ONE conerback (almost 30 who's still recovering from a major knee injury)! Are they right in pursing this plan? I don't know - time will tell. However, what will happen is that next year we'll have minimal cap room. Which means we'll have to cut productive players (and again reduce depth) just to sign a few of our OWN guys much less look at free agency. This tactic is amazing considering Revis' injury and the fact that the Bucs, as an organization, have been decimated for several years (this past in one particular) with players going on the IR. So, unless Dominik and Schiano can put together one fastastic draft and replenish the front seven with similar or better talent, I'm not optomistic about the next SEVERAL seasons. For alll of you out there screaming about "...get Revis Island in Tampa Bay". Well, now that has to happen. And even if it doesn't, we are now, more than likely, screwed for many seasons to come.
  • avatar


    For those of you making the stupid argument that Clayborne is injury prone check yourselves. He had one year here on an even worse defense and provided more sacks than Bennet did this year. Most of you need to calm down and realize that this is not a fantasy league. Dominik and Schiano have a plan and are sticking to it. They know more than any of us do. Trust in them and let them make informed decisions while we wait. We are putting together a great core and we have money to spend. If you aren't excited then I don't know why you call yourself a bucs fan. We've come so far from where we've been. We need to give the entire program our allegiance now or nothing good will ever come. The fire needs to be brought back to Tampa. Let's fu**king go. Tampaaaa-baaaaaaay
  • avatar


    Bennet may have been the prototypical contract year player, yet banking on Clayborn and D'Q is a definite gamble. If B notches double digit sacks in Seattle, it should be viewed as the signing of Dom's death warrant. If he is a low single digit sacker and situational player, Dom will have made his point. Looking at the (lack of) results during Dom & Co's tenure, I still favor walking virtually everyone at One Buc off the Plank, but he has gotten a handful of things right (luck of the draw?) so we will not know for certain until the end of this coming season. Go Bucs
  • avatar


    I guess all you whiners are such good talent evaluaters that you work in the front offices of NFL teams. Crack a beer and relax. In the end it's just a game and someone elses money and reputation on the line. All you have to do is watch. After all, it wouldn't the first time the Bucs have had a bad season. And we won't even know that till next December.
  • avatar

    Maybe Bennett signed cheap with the Seahawks cause they are contenders, and being a contender he will get seen more by other teams to raise his value up for next years free agency. Just because he signed cheap with them doesn't mean he would have signed just as cheap for the Bucs. It still sucks losing him though, he's a solid player..I'm still wondering what the Bucs are doing at CB though, do they plan on keeping Wright?
  • avatar


    If the time horizon is just 1 year, with the way the DE market is going, you might end up getting a guy like Seymour or freeney for even less than what Bennett got. Age less of an issue when you are doing 1 year deals for a guy who will maybe be a situational guy to boost pass rush
  • avatar

    Also, don't know how much they would cost, but I would love to get S Pouha and O Umenyiora for some added depth and experience on the D line. They could help teach our guys how to play on the line.
  • avatar

    Relax everyone!! I'ts not as bad as it looks. As some have said already, we were not going to pay him 5 mil to split time with Bowers. We have Nesheim for a reserve and we could draft a solid DE too. Lets just wait and see. Also, I did like some of the CB's that are now off the market, but I thought most of them would come at a cheaper price. I think Dom thought the same and does not want to overpay for a player unless he is a DEFINITE game changer, like Goldson and Revis. There are still very solid CB's left, just not as many to pick from. N Asomough, A Cason B Grimes, and maybe even D. Hall or Q Jammer. It would just be to hold the fort until we get replacements. We also could pull the same trick as the last couple of years and double up on CB's in the draft. Just have faith. We would be in MUCH better shape than last year if we were to sign B Grimes and A Cason and draft one more to groom for the future.
  • avatar


    The only way I will support Dominik on this one is if Rosenhaus said I have someone willing to pay $8-9 million a year. Dominik says no and walks away after letting Bennett test free agency. Otherwise its stupid to not pay him more than $5million while both clayborn and bennett are developing and having quality depth/starter.
  • avatar


    We'll be okay without him. I haven't seen any FA signed to another team that I really wanted so far. Grimes is still available. He and Revis are who we should be after. Some of you are worried about about a guy with 9 sacks who never came off the field when guys around the league are getting 19 sacks. We can do better. Clayborne got about 9 sacks as a rookie and will only get better. Bowers will do better. Also, he's not going to jail. Haven't you guys learned by now that NFL players don't go to jail for petty stuff. Calm down, we'll be fine.
  • avatar


    3 to 4 mil tops for Bennett. He averages 3-4 sacks a season. Overpaid at 5 mil. Not so sure why we r not pulling the trigger on a Grimes and a another mid level DB. Im in for Revis but at a more manageable 10-11 mil per. 3 year 33 mil sounds about right. Need an injury out clause as well! Should never give more than a 2nd in the deal though. Make the deal already or move on! For some reason I still believe that the Buccaneers are a better team with RB L. Blount on the depth chart. I know he has his problem areas to work on, I just believe he brings something different from your starter and he seems to have been undercoached a bit. Lastly, at 13 do we draft for need or can we take the best player on board?
  • avatar


    Boooooooooo! I have a feeling that will be the first of many...
  • avatar

    to be honest i dont think he was that good, at times when the linemen got his hands on him he couldnt counter. the reason for him being so "good" in run support was because he was let free blitz, and sumtimes he would make a play here and there.in pass rush situations he did have sum moves but not all the time who ever is at l.end is gonna make the same impact or better.we should be good with gary gibson playing nosetackle maybe if they trade for revis i would give them next yrs 1st and this years 3rd, draft desmod trufant or the best pass rusher on the board , honey badger second round simply kuz i was just like him getting high and out and about it just takes balls to quit no rehab BALLS its all it takes, and thankfully ive changed me wicked ways so i think he changed but thats up to him to actually do it. i would take the chance though. on offense freeman needs to step up to the plate oline be healthy i really think we could get to the playoffs this year but freeman worries me. its just my opinion on the state of the bucs
  • avatar


    He is too small they will never pick him.
  • avatar


    What the heck!??? We act like we don't have cap space! What is up?? We need corners n pass rush. Period. That's where we were weakest! Honestly....I'd rather have Sean Smith (18 mill contract) Avril (15 mill contract), Bennett (5 mill contract)...rather than Goldson. For the 3 of them it's less money than his contract alone! I just don't understand what's going on....unless we get revis and grimes....I don't see how this could be considered a good free agency off season. We let too many quality people sign else where for hardly nothin!!
  • avatar


    1 year for $5 million???? We couldn't match this or do better for our top end from last year? Clayborne and Bowers have both been hurt. What is going on??? Meanwhile we are flirting with a potentially expensive cancer at CB who is INJURED. Am I missing something here? You cannot have enough good defensive linemen. (See NY Giants winning superbowls - plural).
  • avatar


    I and Pete Carroll agree with you!! They are doing great without E Stokes
  • avatar


    I understand the sentiment regarding not re-signing Michael Bennett. On its face it looks like a blunder. But I think after one year of the NSO, the Bucs are attempting to radically change the Bucs defense. It’s too early to make much sense of it now. These are trying times hard to understand, but I’m loyal to a fault. I am as puzzled as anyone by our approach so far in FA. But I’m going to stay in the boat. There is a plan behind these moves or non-moves whatever. I simply refuse to believe that Schiano, Davis, and Dominik would put their futures and this team at risk by holding back. I believe there are bigger and better things planned for our defense. Things will unfold and we will be happy with the direction we’re taking. I’ve come this far, and not going to get weak-kneed now! I’ve said some things in jest lately, but rest assured, I’m a Buc for life. Go Bucs!
  • avatar


    Wish we could have kept him, but you can't keep everyone and we need to get the young guys on the field so they can develop. I'd love to add Margus Hunt out of SMU to our young DE rotation. Huge, with off the chart measurables and just learning football. Reminds me of a JPP type, only bigger.
  • avatar


    He was young. Hello!! He was the guy we developed Hello!! Only a two year deal at a very reasonable price. Dom you are firing yourself. Sign Grimes and Keller you need a TE as bad as cb's. This is Embarassing!!
  • avatar


    What a disaster. If Dominik doesn't trun this around in the next couple of days with two or three solid signings, he's punched his own ticket out of town.
  • avatar


    Did anyone stop to think that all things being equal Bennet didn't want to come back to split time with Bowers. Or the Bucs weren't going to pay him more than maybe $3M to split time with Bowers. They want bowers on the field next year... Get over it!
  • avatar

    Thats all fine and dandy if Bowers can stay healthy for whole season or if he doesnt go to jail or get suspended or both.
  • avatar


    they just payed a journeyman lb 3 mil Wake up look around!! That goes for you also Dom
  • avatar


    The Bucs have lost their mind. Bowers and Claiborne have proven to be injury prone. They should have signed Bennett. This off season is going really badly so far. I'm more discouraged than I have been n 2 years. There is no way we make the playoffs with these type of moves. I think we've regressed. Falcons signed Jackson Saints quality corner Allen. While I like Goldson, we have a lot of holes. Even IF we get Revis, this is disappointing. It's as if Dom has no time for any thing other than fantasizing about Revis. I'm pissed. Ê
  • avatar


    Well said
  • avatar


    Its hard to say this is dissapointing because its only 2/3 days in... there's a long way to go until Aug and Camp.... Bennett had a good year that's no question about that, but its not like he changed games... his sack came in clumps 2 this game, 4 games with out one, 2 this game 3 games with out one... So its not like he was getting to the QB every game. Bowers had 3 sacks and missed the first 6 weeks so a whole off season of training and with Clayborn coming back you still a Daniel N who had 4 sacks and your getting sacks from your LB. t I know fans exepcted this huge spending spree like last year but this offseason there wasn't many players worth that type of money
  • avatar


    absolute blunder letting him get away for 5 mil a year! What are you thinking Dominick??? Best pass rusher we had and two years at that price would have been well worth it. Signing no corners and putting all your marble into Reavis. ASSININE! You and Schiano need to start making some moves where needed in your line and d backs.
  • avatar


    I'm not sure what the plan would be their appears that there is none but sucking up to Revis. And the Jets. They may stiff us and then we will have done nothing in free agency except help our safety depth.
  • avatar


    HOW MUCH MONEY DOES SEATTLE HAVE ! IMO this F/A period is not going very well. If Bowers goes to jail Dominik is going to have a hard time explaining this !
  • avatar


    Totally agree with you. Outside of Goldson signing this free agency is a train wreck. Why are we waiting for Revis? Why not sign Bennett? Dom was great last year now not so sure
  • avatar


    SO he gets 5 mil for one year, and we give a back up line backer 3 mil? Ok what am I missing? All I heard was Bucs need help at CB and pass rush, s your pass rush just got worse and still NO CB HELP. Yes, looks like they have their head so far up Revis backside, they missed out on other quality NFL starters. Yes, Goldson is great move, but letting Bennett go for that stinks.
  • avatar


    I agree very disappointing FA so far. Dom seems to have lost his mind this team still sucks on defense and has nothing to help on offense.
  • avatar


    Okay - I was all for letting him walk too for the wrong price - but not for $5m...that's a huge bargain for Seattle....so I really hope the plan here is not to upgrade our secondary but downgrade our DL....let's hope there's a plan in place to replace Miller and Bennett and to do so for less than $5m per year....
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