Michael Bennett Will Give Bucs One Last Shot

March 9th, 2013

All indications from many sources are that Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett has played his last snap with the Bucs. An unrestricted free agent, and the leader of the Bucs in sacks (nine), Bennett is expected to get stupid money from desperate teams on the open market.

And it appears the Bucs are willing to let him loose.

But there is still a glimmer of hope for Bucs fans, per Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski. “The Commish,” of WHFS-FM 98.7. Pawlowski Twittered last night that Bennett will give Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik one last chance.

@CommishOnline: I can confirm that Bucs DE Michael Bennett will most likely leave Bucs during free agency, but will give them a chance to match any offer.

Well, that’s how it should be. Joe understands Dominik has a specific figure budgeted for Bennett and, if someone is going to pay him crazy money, well, good for Bennett.

It’s good of Bennett that he will give the Bucs one more shot. If for some odd reason other teams aren’t wild about Bennett, the window is open for a return.

31 Responses to “Michael Bennett Will Give Bucs One Last Shot”

  1. DougMartin22 Says:


  2. Snook Says:

    Isn’t this old news?

    This report has been out for awhile.

    As for the “most likely leave” claim, that part is ridiculous. Can’t say that at this point not knowing what teams are willing to pay.

  3. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Bennett hit Free Agency @ the right time b/c there are mostly scrubs or old players available. On the other hand, most teams are cash strapped. Gonna be very interesting. I think only 4-3 teams will pursue him also….

  4. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    All these rumors, smoke screens, posturing, etc… are driving me nuts. March 12 can not get here soon enough.

  5. J 2.0 Says:

    Bennett is not worth more than a max of $6 million a year. He was a member of the 2010 terrible rush defense. He was a member of the epic meltdown of 2011. And he was a member of one of the worst pass and pass rush defenses of 2012. What are we really missing here? It’s time to let Bowers and Clayborn take charge. And if there were a way that the Bucs could manage 2 1st round picks like last year and manage to grab both Rhodes and Werner, I wouldn’t mind either, but more reallistically signing Abraham to mentor our 2 young pass rushers would be a good move also.

  6. stevek Says:

    This is the right move.

    Offer Bennett what he is worth, if another team wants to overpay let them.

    Bennett is a class act for giving the Bucs the final say.

    I wouldn’t mind letting Bennett walk, sign 3 CBs in FA, and see about drafting a pass rush DE at 13 or trade down…

  7. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    We have 2 Gimpy DE’s now. Franchise Tag was best move. They better spend that money

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Tampa has no pass rush, and losing him can not help us. I hope we keep Bennett.

  9. MegaDaveUK Says:

    @J2.0 – You seem to ignore that he was one of the only bright flashes in our terrible defenses of 2010/2011/2012 – Bennett has been one of the few consistantly good DLmen we’ve had.

    Classy guy though, giving the Bucs the last say. Someone will overpay and he’ll probably walk, but I think there’s a good chance that he’s already bought into this Bucs Culture and can see that we are only a couple of pieces away from the playoffs – and IMO, he’s one of them

  10. Andrew 2 Says:

    Both Bennetts should be part of this team. Any team that makes him an offer must be a 4-3 and must need a starting TE. Very few teams that will make an offer.

    Dom should have some wiggle room on his numbers…if he wants ti give him 7 and theyre offering 10.5 let him walk…but if theyre offering 8 and hes offering 7..give him the extra mil and keep the team together

    Lastly and this is the biggest. If he isnt re-signing our players like weve been told we would(Bennett, Miller) and not extending contracts for Freeman and Williams, I would absolutely love to know what theyre planning to do with our 45 mil(after wrigh and black) in cap space.

  11. bucfanjeff Says:

    Hope he stays, but only at about 5-6 mil per year

  12. the_buc_realist Says:

    this is what the boy-genius Gm wants. He is making it look like he is trying to retain Bennett, all the while getting his draft picks into starting roles. no wonder we have finished 4th, 3rd, 4th and 4th in the division.

  13. J 2.0 Says:

    @ Mega Dave

    I like Bennett. He does seem like a classy guy. More than we can say for his “Nude Picture” taking brother. But 2010 1 sack, 2011 4 sacks, 2012 9 sacks. Thats not premier DE #’s sorry. People act like losing him would send the season down the tubes. I don’t think so. We need to let the young guys take charge.

  14. Macabee Says:

    If Dominik could pay Eric Wright 7.75mil, then surely he could stomach 8 to 8.5mil for Bennett. This is not the time to be penny-wise and pound foolish. Any offer he gets anywhere in that neighborhood, they should match it!

    I don’t have a problem with big contracts if they’re performance-based and incentive-laden. If Bennett wants the big dollars, earn them by number of downs played, sacks made, forced fumbles, etc. If he plays lights out, we should have no problem paying the big dollars!

  15. J 2.0 Says:

    Yes lets pay Bennett $1 million per sack great idea. The Bucs have cap room so let’s spend recklessly.

    Obviously I’m being sarcastic. An improved secondary will improve the pass rush. And we don’t need Bennett for that. There is a deep DE draft coming up and we can sign a vet like Abraham, WHO CAN ACTUALLY GET DOUBLE DIGIT SACKS, in FA to improve our line and mentor our young DE’s. You know who else is a FA and can get double digit sacks, OSI. Also worth more than Bennett. Don’t tell me that Bennett was great against the run either because the scheme was good against the run. I saw Teo’ Nesheim crush many a runners in the backfield as well.

  16. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Blount signed with the Bucs

  17. MegaDaveUK Says:

    TBH it’s a crying shame that Bowers has not been as productive as hoped for, or expected. I’m gonna keep the faith though, i’ve always thought that Bowers/McCoy/Clayborne is a beastly front 3, add one more person to create as much havoc as McCoy in the middle, then our entire D looks a tonne better. Thats what this draft should do for us – I think/hope.

  18. J 2.0 Says:

    @ Mike

    That’s good news. Hopefully its reasonable, and hopefully we can give him the ball more this year.

  19. Macabee Says:


    We’re not saying your assessment of Bennett is wrong, in fact the market may come in exactly where you say it should be. But if a majority of GMs see it differently, then they may be seeing something you don’t.

    I agree there is some risk in doing any big contract. My point is insure against the downside by properly structuring the contract. And as you say there are other options, and like Bennett they bring their own degree of risk or they wouldn’t be available.

    Look at it this way. Bennett was going to get a contract at some number any way. Look at the difference between that number and the marketplace number and base your risk assessment on that number. It may not be as bad as you think!

  20. MegaDaveUK Says:

    Just one point I wanna make with regards to 10/11/12 defensive stats, did anyone forget that we only got McCoy back for 2012, and missed him DEARLY for the 2 years before that. This can be considered a bold statement, but 2011 would NOT have been that kind of year if we had McCoy healthy – christ, we could still have Raheem if that happened 😮 I’m just gonna be thankful we have a healthy McCoy and OL =D

  21. bucrightoff Says:

    I like Bennett but at a certain point he’s just not worth it. If someone wants to shell out $10 million a year to him, you tell him thanks for everything and good look.

  22. Mike J Says:

    Yet one wonders why Dominik gave so much money to Black & Wright.

  23. J 2.0 Says:

    @ Mike J

    I think Black has upside but injuries prevented us from knowing exacly how effective he could be. Wright had character issues before that signing and it never really made sense to me. But that is no excuse to go out and sign another bad contract.

  24. JeB Says:

    I can’t believe most of you don’t think Michael Bennett is a premier DE. Only 9 sacks? What about the 40+ QB pressures (only 3rd in the league amongst all DEs). And tackles for loss? 3rd amongst all DLs. What about the fact this dude was “probable” for half the season due to shoulder issues. What if he was 100%?

    Had he dropped a couple more QBs, would he then be worth the money? Sacks = value? Ya’ll should look a little deeper into the tape than picking the low hanging fruit. What, you want a fool like C Avril? All sacks & nothing but? Oh, and by the way, he only got 1.5 more than 71.

    More snaps than 90% of the DEs (beast is a work horse), killer on run defense. What more do you want?

    5 – 6 mill? Haha. You’re all F’n crazy. This is one of your own, a self made rock star. Give him what he deserves… should have been tagged. He’s only 27 & about to get Paaaaaiiiiid.

  25. andres Says:

    Hate to say this but the bucs know Bennett is kind of a garbage sack specialist. If he was a 3rd down beast like Simeon was then they’d pay out the nose.

  26. andres Says:

    How many times did we see other teams in 3rd and long have all day to convert them last year? A ton. That’s when Bennett was really needed and he never got to the QB.

  27. 76buc76 Says:

    Tagged please, what would that cost us 16M.So we could be in the same situation next year.He play’s next to McCoy so he never see’s double team’s.Also he play’s the LE position meaning he goes up against opposiing team’s weaker tackle.The right tackle but at the same time the QB can see him so he doesn’t get the easy blind sack’s.We can sign Abraham for half the price.I think the question is Bower’s is he ready to play full time and be effectiive?The Eagles had termendious depth on the D-line last year.But having 3 guy’s on the bench that could start for a lot of team’s.Seemed pretty silly when they had horrible safety’s and suspect LBer’s.I think we let him walk he’ll get 10M per.Go with Claybourne 80% of the snap’s,Nesium 20% at RE and Bower’s 60%,Abraham 40% at LE.Then we can out bid the Eagles for Gholston (8.5)

  28. Patrick Says:

    Dominick deserves to have his f*king ass fired if he lets Bennett walk. HOW LONG now have we struggled to find an effective defensive end?? And now we’re gonna let him walk? Clayborn is hurt and Bowers is likely gonna be in JAIL!!!! HELLO.

  29. scubog Says:

    Perhaps Dominik remembers when Richie McKay re-signed Marcus Jones after his 13 sack season only to have him go into an immediate decline and eventually out of football. I like Michael Bennett and believe he is a high effort player who plays through injuries. For that he deserves to be offered a reasonable contract, but he’s no superstar. I would not call him an elite pass rusher. He’s just a good all around defensive lineman. Seattle cut him for a reason. Let’s be cautious.

  30. Froggy-G Says:

    I cant believe the buccs didnt throw the tag on bennett i feel like this will come back to haunt them on march 12

  31. Mike J Says:

    J 2.0 , I disagree. Black had played but hadn’t shown anything. Bennett OTOH has been productive, if not outsatnding.