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.
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