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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs DE Bennett will land elsewhere in free agency

Michael Bennett led the Bucs in sacks last season with nine.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Michael Bennett led the Bucs in sacks last season with nine.

7

March

Defensive end Michael Bennett has probably played his last game for the Bucs.

Bennett, who led the team in sacks last season with nine, is bound to have a higher maket value to other teams than he does to the Bucs.

Tampa Bay plans to play Da'Quan Bowers, a second-round pick from Clemson in 2011, at left defensive end. They are confident he won't miss games due to his gun charges in New York. And remember, a few years ago, he led the nation in sacks and was considered a top five pick until a knee injury dropped him in the draft.

The Bucs decided not to use their franchise or transition tag on Bennett, meaning they don't think he's an $11-million per year player. If he remained in Tampa Bay, he would be a nickel pass rusher if the Bucs plans to start Bowers were realized.

Bennett has been an overachiever, a player who exceeded expectations when he was claimed off waivers from Seattle. But in the last two seasons, playing essentially as a starter, he has 14th sacks. That ranks 42nd in the NFL during that time span. His nine sacks last season ranked 23rd in the league.    



[Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:11pm]

    

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