Bennett Does Not Rule Out Return To Bucs

February 3rd, 2014
Prospective free agent Michael Bennett has the door open for the Bucs.

Prospective free agent Michael Bennett has the door open for the Bucs.

Last night Joe was confident many Bucs fans needed copious amounts of Pepcid AC (maximum strength), and it wasn’t because of the hot wings and beers they had. No, Bucs fans had indigestion because they watched Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett playing in the Super Bowl.

Yes, the same Michael Bennett who led the Bucs in sacks in 2012. Yes, the same Michael Bennett who the Bucs let walk away for no good reason.

Yes, the same Michael Bennett who led the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in sacks.

Well, Bucs fans, Joe hopes this helps calm your acid reflux from last night. When Joe spoke with Bennett at Super Bowl Media Day last week (man, the eight degrees was so friggin’ cold, Joe finally thawed out in that 80 degree day yesterday), Joe asked Bennett, who is to be a free agent this offseason, if he would rule out a return to the sack-needy Bucs, Bennett clearly left the door open for the Bucs to come get him.

“Aw, I am not ruling out a return to anywhere,” Bennett said. “But I am playing in the Super Bowl. (If a return to the Bucs) happens, it happens.”

Joe will have much more on Bennett later this week (he’s got a lot of stuff on him) but what impressed Joe with Bennett was, he had ample chances to criticize the Bucs for letting him go (he wanted to stay), and every time Bennett was set up by various reporters to badmouth the Bucs, he instead praised them. It was impressive.

 Given the fact new Bucs general manager Jason Licht has emphasized value in free agents, and the Bucs desperately need to bring heat on quarterbacks, and considering how well Bennett also plays the run, Joe has to wonder if Bennett is on Lovie Smith’s radar for 2014.

Bennett could be a nice “value” pick up.

45 Responses to “Bennett Does Not Rule Out Return To Bucs”

  1. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Yeah, perfect cap to the Bucs season seeing Bennett flying around this entire postseason. I think Bennett is going to get overpaid. So much hype surrounding him now.

  2. Patrick in VA Says:

    Would be a great pick up. Not the economy pick that it would have been by keeping him before but i’ll be glad to have him come in now that he’s seen how it’s supposed to be done and he knows what a great defense is supposed to look like and he can be one of our leaders that doesn’t let our young guys deliver less than what is necessary to achieve that here with the bucs

  3. Snook Says:

    Bennett is no dummy. He’s not going to bad mouth any teams as a soon to be free agent.

    I doubt he comes back here to this rebuilding project.

  4. Rob in Tampa Says:

    Seatle stated publicly yesterday that they will resign Bennett so even though mike Bennett said to you joe that he wouldn’t rule out a return he just won a Super Bowl last night and that changes things. Seattle wants to repeat and I’m sure mike Bennett wants to as well so I doubt that our buccaneers will get another chance at Bennett…sucks man well that’s stupid Greg schiano for you.

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “Bennett could be a nice “value” pick up.”

    Yep that’s true, but after Seattle just took Denver to the wood shed. I’ve got a strong feeling the premium on pass rushers have just went through the roof.

    So with that being said. Who would be the better acquisition Greg Hardy or Michael Bennett ?

  6. Snook Says:

    Seattle has 19 free agents and only $5 million in cap space for 2014. They wont be able to re-sign everyone they want to.

  7. Snook Says:

    This is what other members of their DL will make in 2014:

    How are they going to pay Bennett?

    On 2014 Roster: Chris Clemons ($9,666,667), Cliff Avril ($9,250,000), Red Bryant ($8,500,000), Brandon Mebane ($5,700,000), Greg Scruggs ($582,358), Kenneth Boatright ($499,166), Benson Mayowa ($495,000), Jordan Hill ($651,035), Jesse Williams ($547,763)

  8. BucsQcCity Says:

    Hardy is waiting for insane money. Let him leave the NFC South division for good

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Whats lost in all of this the fact how dominate Seattle’s offensive line was as well.

    29 carries
    135 yards
    4.7 yards a carrier

    + Didn’t give up one sack. Helped Seattle dominate the time of position in the 1st half.

    Like I’ve said over and over again. You WIN this game in the trenches, its always been this way, and always will.

    Pete Carroll came to Seattle AND completely overhauled the offensive line and defensive line.


    *Sign a Free Agent at QB+Draft one in the Later Rounds

    *Completely revamp our offensive line (outside of RT Demar Dotson).

    *Draft one of the best LT’s in the draft Greg Robinson or Taylor Lewan. Grab some guards & a dominate center in (Remember Seattle has one of the most dominate centers in the game* Max Unger).

    *Bring in a Tight End through Free Agency

    *Draft a slot Receiver/Kick Returner in the Later rounds

    *Add some more guys to the front 7 rotation.




  10. Macabee Says:

    Ask yourself if you were either Mike Bennett or Greg Hardy, what would be your incentive to come to the Bucs but one? If all of 32 teams would like to have either or both of them, what did we have to do to get either one of them? No need to respond. The answer is obvious. We overpaid! Aren’t you tired of doing this?

  11. Snook Says:


    Not taking anything away from their OL but having Wilson back there sure helps when you mention they didn’t give up a sack.

    Wilson rarely stays in the pocket. He’s always getting flushed out. Seattle’s pass blocking isn’t the best but it looks that way when you have Wilson running around.

  12. nate_tweetz Says:

    A great “value” pick up? No, it would have been a great value pick up if Dominick would have signed this guy a year ago to a paltry 4 year/8 mill contract. Now, just coming off of a superbowl win where he lead the leagues best defense in sacks, you think Bennett’s asking price is going to be some kind of bargain??? Players that become free agents coming off of a superbowl winning season are notoriously overpaid by some desperate team. I don’t see why that wouldn’t be any different for Bennett. We could of had this dude for probably 4 years/8 mill… Now he’s gonna be wanting 8 mill PER year!

  13. Mumbles Says:

    I take that back. Mike Glennon does look a lot like Peyton Manning! Lol.

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Like someone said last nite.

    A lot of coaches around the NFL–” SAY”– “Hey you practice well, then I’ll make sure you get some play time. When that’s simply not the case because of guys big contract, draft status , etc etc.

    Pete Carroll on the other hand doesn’t give a rats a$$, how long you’ve been with the team…how big your contract is…or draft status. IF YOU CAN PLAY —U WILL PLAY. It creates a super competitive yet fun environment. Guys out and play hard for coaches give them a fair shake.

    Wait didn’t Jimmy Johnson do the same thing; with equally quick results.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *Guys go out and play hard for coaches; that give them a fair shake.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Right- I wouldn’t say that their pass blocking is great either, above average yes. Their run blocking on the other hand is top shelf.

  17. Eric Says:

    Pete sure put together a hell of a team, although he did misfire a few times at QB before getting Wilson.

    That guy was brilliant extending plays on third down, keeping Manning off the field.

    A lot like that guy from Texas A & M. Mobile and deadly.

  18. chickster Says:

    Bucs just seem to be doing the wrong things over and over I guess no one had a pair in the whole building Thank god that mess is over and the damage is done

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Not going to happen.

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yeah, not everything is going be perfect. Guys are gonna get hurt, players maturity
    level will be questionable at times. But he stayed the course with a formula that is true.

  21. You Go Joe Says:

    I read the tweets that Seattle wants to sign Bennett, however nothing is for sure and also these “reports/tweets” came out after last night game. Does sound credible to me ESPECIALLY that no one has sources to confirm.

    Bennett to the Bucs would be great, I don’t think he will be over payed as he is not a top DE but a solid player.

  22. Buc Neckid Says:

    NFL is a Copy cat league
    and what the Super Bowl showed as much as anything
    is the value of a Beast Defensive Line
    When you can put that much pressure with just those four
    the rest of your defense is fine.
    While the DB’s of Seattle got all the Pub
    and even though they are good
    the DLine should get a lot of credit for their success
    Manning’s Interceptions last night were all tipped at the line
    He had NO TIME to throw and they made him look nothing like a league MVP

  23. Kansasbuc Says:


    According to NFL Network Bennett is expected to be resigned by the Seahawks.

    That was refuted late last night as inaccurate by Like with any free agent, you believe it when the ink is on the paper. –Joe

  24. Kansasbuc Says:

    ^^ They made it seem as though he was their priority sign.

  25. Macabee Says:

    You Go Joe,

    For your info!

  26. Architek Says:

    Bennett and Jared Allen to be our started – Clayborn, Bowers, and Gholston as depth rotation and any rookie we draft should do the trick.

    Now that would help Joe sleep at night. –Joe

  27. run to daylight Says:

    It was reported on another site that Coach Schiano wanted Bennett but the Glazers did not. If so, then the Glazers would have to have had a change of heart.

    Joe suspects that report is ridiculous.–Joe

  28. Buc Neckid Says:

    As for Bennett,
    Good for him
    What would you have rather done this past year?
    Play for Schiano?
    or Win a Superbowl?

  29. thegregwitul Says:

    Bennett will go to the team that pays him the most money, and why not? He just won a Super Bowl and led the Seahawks in sacks. He’ll cash in for sure. Will it be with the Bucs? I honestly think Tampa stands a good chance of bringing him back, but as we all know, when it comes to free agents from Super Bowl winning teams, expect the bidding to potentially get out of control, and Bennett could go from underrated impact player to overpaid impact player.

  30. Snook Says:

    I’m all for bringing back Bennett as long as he’s willing to be paid like the 8-9 sack guy he is instead of the 15-20 sack guy he’ll demand on the open market

  31. DontBucNH8 Says:

    He’s staying with the Hawks!! Don’t get your hopes up

  32. Theodore Says:

    Um… Bennett is no longer a “value”. He is going to get paid. Good for him.

  33. biff barker Says:

    Bennett’s glorious return to Tampa Bay will be upon the back of flying pigs.

  34. Mike Says:

    I actually agree with you on teams needs and draft, except the trade Revis part. I still believe that the Jets were complete idiots to trade him. At 100% the man is a beast! I’d take him over any corner in the league. Other then that, I think you’re spot on

  35. Mike Says:

    And yes Bennett is good. But he’s gonna want to get paid. I’m not putting anything against him, but lets face it…. The Seahawks have a nasty DL. I think that made Bennett look better then he really is. Again, I’m not downing him because I missed him this season! Just feel he’s gonna try to get Hardy money and for that price I’d rather have Hardy

  36. pick6 Says:

    wait and see. plenty of guys who we thought would get paid ended up taking discounts or 1-year deals last offseason, especially at CB and DE. maybe we will get lucky with bennet or someone else…

  37. Zoocomics Says:

    Joe, you keep bringing up that we let Bennett go for no good reason, and although in hindsight it was a bad decision there was a reason.

    First, we weren’t going to get Bennett at the cost that Seattle paid him, and Bennett I’m sure wanted a multi-year deal being a starter and our primary sack leader. Which leads me to my second point, Bowers showed enough in a reserve role, that the only way we were going to see what this kid had was to start him. Do you really think Bennett would have accepted a back-up role? And at what cost to the Bucs?

    Point is, Bennett had failed to crack double digits for the years he played with us, and Bowers had some bad breaks when we first drafted him, and yet sparingly when he had opportunities he showed promise. Mind you that he was considered a number 1 overall draft pick prior the knee issues. It was a gamble, and thus far we’ve lost.

    This was Bowers first healthy season, and he failed to perform up to expectations. Bad coaching perhaps? Stunting? All I know is Bowers looks like an absolute animal, so I’m hoping with better coaching perhaps his numbers will improve. I hope the same for Clayborn.

  38. Chef Paul Says:

    I got over my selfish anger about Bennett being let go last night. I became very happy for him. No more indigestion, just glad to see him succeed since he basically didn’t get a fair shake here. He got what he deserves. I wish him well in all his future endeavors. Gotta just accept the fact that we screwed him and he landed on his feet.

  39. Joe Says:


    First, we weren’t going to get Bennett at the cost that Seattle paid him, and Bennett I’m sure wanted a multi-year deal being a starter and our primary sack leader. Which leads me to my second point, Bowers showed enough in a reserve role, that the only way we were going to see what this kid had was to start him. Do you really think Bennett would have accepted a back-up role? And at what cost to the Bucs?

    Point is, Bennett had failed to crack double digits for the years he played with us, and Bowers had some bad breaks when we first drafted him, and yet sparingly when he had opportunities he showed promise. Mind you that he was considered a number 1 overall draft pick prior the knee issues. It was a gamble, and thus far we’ve lost.

    You force the young guy to bench his older teammate. You don’t just toss your leading sacker away, especially when that is a weakness of your team. Bennett was also one of the best defenders against the run. Bowers, so far, isn’t close.

  40. Chef Paul Says:


    Keep that broken record playing. Trenches trenches trenches. Last night proved there is more than one way to skin a cat. High power offense or great defense. Both building blueprints can work. But what will always be the same is the trenches. You HAVE to have control of the trenches. It doesn’t matter if you have Peyton Manning, if your line cant compete with the other teams line, you will have bad days.

    Last night was won on the backs of the Linemen.

  41. Buxfan Says:

    If anyone thinks that Clayborn will not be on this team and not starting, is truly an idiot. Under Raheem, Clayborn had 7.5 sacks as a rookie which lead that team. 3.5 sacks better then Bennett. Now they’re going back to that system, Lovie will see what Clayborn can do.

  42. Mike Says:

    Hey Chef! That was greatness!

  43. Kevin Says:

    With the Super Bowl and the hype I agree I think he will get Over paid now and we already have one lineman thats gonna require some big money to keep. Anyone remember mid season when Bill Sheridan and Schiano let our line run free and they had a field day? I can’t remember which game it was but they did they’re thing and got pressure and I believe a few sacks that game. After that they went right back to the stunts. These new coaches have to evaluate what the guys we have are actually capable of. We may not need any high priced free agents. It may be a matter of better coaching and schemes. I’m willing to put my trust into this new regime to bring out the best in our players and bring in who we NEED. On the radio today they were naming all these great players on Seattles defense. 3rd rounder fourth rounder 3rd rounder 5th rounder. A good GM can obviously build through the draft…just because that is what Rockstar tried to do and it didn’t work does not mean it doesn’t work at all. Nothing wrong with bringing in some talent but every player in the league came out of college. They are out there it’s up to Lovie and Licht now.

  44. PRBucFan Says:

    Seattle will not have the money to resign EVERYBODY that is good on that team.

    He’s an FA they can say they want him but he can sign where he chooses.

    His best friends are still on the Bucs( (easily seen via twitter interactions/comments), he may just come back.

  45. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Bennett is a good player. If we can get him for the price that pass rushers went for last season I would take him in a heart beat. But I’m guessing he will demand more money as this is now becoming a trend for him. 1 good season for the bucs didn’t deserve a big contract. But leading the Super Bowl champs (and number 1 defense) in sacks is gonna be a big pay day for Bennett. He’s not an elite pass rusher but he’s a complete DE who can run stop and pass rush, an expensive combination.