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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bennett is Tampa-bound



Bennett The Bucs addressed their running back situation by acquiring Michael Bennett in a trade with Kansas City late Monday night.

The Bucs gave up undisclosed picks in 2008 and 2009  based on performance criteria, according to the Chiefs website.

"It was a shock to me," the 29-year-old Bennett told the Kansas City Star. "It really caught me off-guard. I heard the speculation for the past few days, but nobody from the Chiefs said anything to me, so I guessed it wasn't going to happen. I was wrong. It's a business. It's just one of those that happen."

The Bucs had been linked to several other backs, including Minnesota's Mewelde Moore and Jacksonville's LaBrandon Toefield. They even failed in an attempt to lure former Patriots running back Corey Dillon out of retirement.

Bennett, whose contract expires at the end of this season, is slated to earn $1.2-million this season. With the Chiefs, he was used sparingly because of Larry Johnson's heavy workload. He became expendable because the Chiefs are in the process of trying to get veteran back Priest Holmes back into action after he spent the first six weeks on the non-football injury list. He is expected to practice with the Chiefs on Wednesday.

When healthy, Bennett could emerge as Tampa Bay's best option while Michael Pittman recovers from his ankle injury. Cadillac Williams is lost for the season after knee surgery. But Bennett has some injury history of his own with a foot injury that has limited him the past few seasons.

A former first-round pick from Wisconsin, Bennett has one 1,000-yard season in his past, rushing for 1,296 yards in 2002 as a member of the Vikings. At 5-9 and 207 pounds, he is regarded as a formidable receiver out of the backfield, a skill the Bucs are likely to utilize.

In limited action this season, Bennett was unable to do much to help ignite the Chiefs' running game. He has rushed 20 times for for 52 yards, an average of 2.6 yards per carry. He also has two fumbles, having lost one of those.

(Pictured: Michael Bennett runs against the Chicago Bears last month. AP photo. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:51pm]


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