Cash Register Ringing For Michael BennettDecember 12th, 2012
Consistent, versatile defensive linemen are worth their weight in gold in the NFL. It’s why Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has invested such high draft picks for defensive linemen in recent years.
So with defensive end Michael Bennett’s contract being up in just a few weeks, he’s going to look to hit a payday. And given data the thinktank crowd at ProFootballFocus.com has generated, Bennett will nail the lottery shortly. Those numbers geeks have Bennett ranked among the NFL elite at pressuring the quarterback.
Bennett is ranked in a tie at No. 4, ahead of even J.J. Watt and Elvis Dumervil, in pressuring quarterbacks.
As for all-around productivity, the PFF.com crowd has Bennett ranked No. 8 among NFL defenseive linemen, ahead of John Abraham and Kamerion Wimbley.
Now throw in another fact that the PFF folks didn’t touch: Until this year, Gerald McCoy has been hobbled by injuries. Da’Quan Bowers has been hobbled by injuries. Adrian Clayborn is out for the year with a knee injury.
So three of the top five Bucs defensive linemen are injury prone. Bennett is not.
You know what Joe thinks? For every game Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman has like the past two weeks, three if you include his inaccuracy against the Dixie Chicks, cash that could have gone to Freeman will instead be slotted to Bennett.
That is if the Bucs don’t franchise Bennett. Either way, Bennett will hit the lottery in a few weeks. He’s a good guy, a stand-up guy, a productive guy so Joe has no problem if Dominik makes it rain on Bennett.
The Bucs need Bennett to remain in the fold, in no uncertain terms.