Right On Bennett; Wrong On Quinn

March 8th, 2018


Disappointment? Understood.

Indignation? Misplaced.

Buc fans are a little edgy after seeing Robert Quinn and Michael Bennett change teams. Tampa Bay needs to generate much more pressure up front and neither free agency nor the draft is stuffed with enticing pass rushers.

For me, Quinn was the man who got away, even with some injury concerns. He’s still in his prime and he comes off the right edge with energy and technique.

The Eagles just added Bennett to a position of strength and the Super Bowl champs didn’t give up much in the process. But that doesn’t mean Bennett would be a good addition at One Buc Place.

In fact, it could have been a disaster.

Let’s start with the suspicion that Bennett isn’t nearly the same player that signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2013 and promptly helped the Seahawks to a championship.

Bennett turns 33 in November and his body is starting to break down. He missed five games with a knee injury in 2016 and played through foot and knee injuries last year.

The Seahawks just let him go in a salary dump, although Seattle’s pass rush is mediocre. That’s a red flag.

Just because the Bucs were foolish to let Bennett go five years ago, it would have been equally foolish to give up assets to get him back. Bennett’s versatility is attractive, but most of his QB pressures come when he lines up inside. The Bucs are hurting more on the edge.

Baggage Claim

Bennett hasn’t posted a forced fumble or a fumble recovery in the past two seasons, an indication his play-making skills have diminished.

But that’s not all … not by a longshot.

This guy has more baggage than Samsonite. At this point, you could credibly argue that Bennett is more disruptive off the field than on the field.

How so?

Bennett became a slightly polarizing figure in Seattle when he chose to kneel for the National Anthem, protesting racial inequality and police brutality. He said he meant no disrespect to the military, but we saw what happened in Tampa in 2016 when Mike Evans sat during the anthem as a silent protest against president-elect Donald Trump.

Two days later, Evans apologized.

In terms of weather, geography and politics, Seattle and the Bay area are miles apart. Bennett’s outspokenness would hardly be embraced along Bayshore Boulevard — and there’s more.

Bennett has also accused Las Vegas law enforcement of racial profiling and excessive force during an incident that saw Bennett detained with handcuffs in the back of a police car before he was released.

Vegas police say Bennett’s account is riddled with inaccuracies.

Schiano Hypocricy

In the closing moment of a late-season loss at Jacksonville last year, Bennett dove at a lineman’s knees with the Jaguars in a kneel-down formation.

When he was asked about it, Bennett said, “I don’t have to explain myself.”

Yes, you do.

A year after Greg Schiano was ravaged for ordering the same tactic in 2012, Bennett ridiculed his former coach in Tampa, implying it was a bush-league move. That’s the NFL definition of hypocrisy.

I’ve been saving the best for last.

Sometime next month, a book co-authored by Bennett is expected to hit the shelves. The title? “How to Make White People Uncomfortable.”

Don’t expect Bennett’s book-signing tour to include the Tampa Bay market.

If the Bucs don’t think Bennett would be a good fit for them in 2018, they have that right. And as far as I’m concerned, they got it right.

Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in town. He has hung his hat at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Wednesdays during football season, and see him now on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sports 360. Ira also is part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday and enjoys beet salads, Riesling, Chiefs victories and needling Joe.

29 Responses to “Right On Bennett; Wrong On Quinn”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    everything is wrong with the glazer organization. no leadership, lack of talent and clueless owners.

  2. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    I hear you about Bennet, but they have to do SOMETHING!

  3. Steven007 Says:

    On cue it’s the Trollmax/Cancermax Express with another absolute non-sequitur (look it up Trollmax and you’ll agree). Back to the subject actually at hand, I agree completely. Quinn was a true need. Bennett? Never should have left but he’s got some well established mileage on him in the meantime. I hope Licht has something up his sleeve come Wednesday (or before).

  4. Destinjohnny Says:

    Tampa Browns

  5. SteveK Says:

    When you can’t generate a pass rush, you owe it to the fans to acquire talent. And, one should be less picky on the personality of said talent, as we are talentless as DE.

    Such a sad time for fans.

    It smells like Jameis could be suspended, and that would be the death nail for this regime and quite possibly Jameis as a Buccaneer. Will we get to know our QBs fate by the FA dinner bell, or at least the draft? Me thinks that Bucs fans and the team will be held hostage by Goodel as he counts his stacks of cash.

  6. SteveK Says:

    When you choose not to offer Calais Xampbell a contract, or to offer the best deal for Robert Quinn, then you have zero excuse for not grabbing Michael Bennett.

  7. SteveK Says:

    Our GM has no problem trading up and using a premium pick on a kicker, but he “cringes at the expectations” of acquiring legit pass rushers. Shame on the Bucs for being such part poopers.

    We are also not getting Brent Grimes back? Sounds like VH3 is going to bust out this year, and not in a good way.

  8. darin Says:

    Agree. I was pissed when licht tried to low ball for quinn and missed out. Wanted bennett simply because they have to do something, and soon. A great pass rusher in his prime rarely becomes available. Licht wouldnt come off a 3 for a great DE, yet he will throw 3s away during the draft. Ugh. If his plan is finding rushers in the draft he will be unemployed next year. Wrong on Quinn is Right!

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    So the Rams trading Quinn for a 4th rd pick is NOT a red flag on Quinn??

  10. Dooshlarue Says:

    Wow Ira!
    I can’t believe the Joe’s let this article happen, but you laid it out there.
    Nice job.

  11. Horse Liver Says:

    Well said, Ira. Maybe not bringing Bennett back was prudent. It’s still frustrating that Licht seems to be taking a nap while others are stepping up to the bargaining table. Quinn went for peanuts. We don’t have peanuts in Tampa?

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Pickgrin Says:
    March 8th, 2018 at 1:57 pm
    So the Rams trading Quinn for a 4th rd pick is NOT a red flag on Quinn??”

    Possibly. We also know the Rams are in cap space trouble and trying to dump a few players so they can pay out others. They had a deep d-line and could afford to move on and need the $$ elsewhere.

    He had 8.5 sacks last year and played 15 games at 28 years old. Sounds like a great DE we could have used.

    Also IRA a lot of us were on this train before it was even known that Quinn might be possible:

    “Lord Cornelius Says:
    February 15th, 2018 at 2:29 pm
    So I’m actually doing this community board mock draft right now with a bunch of fans from other teams where we can trade picks / players / etc.

    The first 6 picks were QBs and Chubb (#3) and Barkley (#6). Arizona traded up to 6 to get Josh Allen as the only trade at that point.

    So I took our boy Quinton Nelson OG at 7 as I had no trade down offers.

    What’s exciting me most in this fantasy world – is that I made a trade with the Rams fan/owner; to send our 3rd round pick & 7th round compensatory pick; for Robert Quinn DE and his 4th round pick.”

    Still in that draft and waiting for our first pick in the 4th. I grabbed Harold Landry in the 2nd

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    You are probably right on Bennet there Ira. However I will correct you by saying outspokeness is never embraced Against many things which are wrong..including racial injustice. Nuff said there. Bennett will make Philly better though. Even if in..spot situations because he’s going to a Winner. I don’t think he would have made us better. But Quinn? Man, we should have really went after the guy. I’m tellin you this, Bucs can go right ahead and pick an O lineman, CB,or a Safety..it won’t matter. Unless you get some pressure on the opposing QB? Those picks will be in vain. Nobody wants excuses this upcoming season. Koetter and Smitty can Win or leave. I’m tired of supporting a consistent LOSER. And YOU..should be too!

  14. Not there yet Says:

    Now that Bennett goes to another team we post about all the negatives? That’s the best you got. What defensive lineman is known for forcing fumbles other than the young guy who is constantly injured. Come on now, if he works out in Philly with all the extra off the field stats your tossing out maybe that means there would be something wrong with Tampa if he couldn’t work out here. I care about production not politics

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s the age-old case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”!
    Everybody’s got baggage, EVERYBODY!
    We’re left to wonder, “what if?” Eventually we’ll have to move on.


  16. BucTrooper Says:

    The video of Michael Bennett with those cops in Vegas is so hilarious. He spent 2 weeks claiming that he was beaten and harassed like Rodney King at a Klan rally. Then we see the body cam video where he’s told to stop, he looks both ways like a Loony Toon character and tries to run, the cop catches him (by the way, do we want a DE who can be CHASED DOWN by an equipment-riddled middled aged cop?), cuffs him and the whole time the cop is, “Sir, you can’t run like that. We needed to talk to you. Do you understand?” The whole thing was a complete fabrication and lie, like most things professional victims claim to be happening.

    Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

  17. DB55 Says:

    Let’s start with the suspicion that Bennett isn’t nearly the same player that signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2013 and promptly helped the Seahawks to a championship.
    Statistically he’s only had 2 years better than 2017 (40 tackles 8.5 sacks) and that was in 2015 (52 tackles 10 sacks) and his last yr with the Bucs (2012) he had 41 tackles and 9 sacks.

    In 2013 he had 31 tackles and 8.5 sacks. So on the field he’s still a beast, off the field however he stood up for a just cause which “certain people” despise and that’s all it takes to assassinate his character.


  18. LakeLand Says:

    Bottom feeders can’t be picky

  19. bucfan999 Says:

    Joe should learn from Ira, a very smart man

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Could have gotten Quinn + Bennet for 4th + 5th + 7th and it’d have only been like $18 mill in cap space.

    Could spend another $17 mill in space on Grimes & another CB and a RB like Rex Burkhead. Cut Sweezy and sign Josh Sitton LG since Norwell looks to be going to the Giants.

    Let’s say we trade down and get the Bills 21/22 and go Payne DT & Hernandez OG. 2nd we go with an RB like Ronald Jones II (Jamaal Charles comp) to compliment Barber/Burkhead. Round 3/5/6/6 = BPA CB/D-line/O-line/S

    Just to dream of what could have been:




    RB-Ronald Jones II / Peyton Barber / Rex Burkhead

    DE-Michael Bennet/Robert Ayers/Will gholston
    DT-Daron Payne/Clinton McDonald
    DT-Gerald McCoy/Stevie T
    DE-Robert Quinn/Noah Spence/draft pick


    CB-Fuller/draft pick
    Nickle-VHIII/jude or mcclain


    Then in the 2019 draft we’d spend early picks on DE/CB/S in anticipation of moving on from the older guys + DT/Oline later. Would be pretty well rounded and deep in talent at that point at all positions

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Ira you nailed it on BOTH counts. Bennett not worth the trouble, but Licht should’ve vigorously gone after Quinn.

    You haven’t written anything about this (to my knowledge at least), BUT … since there seem to be a LOT more very good DTs available this year than DEs, could the Bucs be looking to rebuild their DLine from the inside out? You know, re-sign McDonald, add Poe in FA, then draft our DT of the future (like Vea or Payne). Seems like having a beastly (and constantly fresh) interior might make our DEs a LOT more effective coming off the edge. Especially with Buckner now coaching them.

  22. DB55 Says:


    He didn’t nail it. Bennett is just as good as ever.

  23. BringBucsBack Says:

    “White people have to get more uncomfortable”. -Greg Poppovich

    Any chance Bennett & Popp are talking about the same thing?

    -White Guy

  24. Bob Higginbotham Says:

    Excellent take Ira!

  25. Ed Says:

    I like this article, I watched a couple of Seahawks games and Bennett didn’t look impressive. The Eagles have a good d-line and Bennett will add depth but he’s not a full time player any more.

    Quinn is another story, one of the top DE’s in the league when healthy, the Bucs will miss not having him, they are desperate on the d-line.

    Ira, I wish you could get down to the truth as what is happening with free agency and why when the good players are available, our management isn’t getting those players. Also why are the free agents we are getting so bad?

    One Buc Place is about as disfunctional as the White House.

  26. grafikdetail Says:

    #FakeNews and exactly the kind of thinking that has this organization stinking it up year after year

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Thank you Ira for writing an article that makes sense about Bennett, he’s not worth the trouble. Quinn meanwhile, that was just pitiful.

  28. John meeks Says:

    No excuse for not getting Quinn, the guy can rush the passer!I thought our GM would manage to pull that trade off,very disappointed!!

  29. Clodhopper Says:

    The real question is why would he write a book about drinking milk the day after the expiration date, cruising in the passing lane, and hot humid weather?