TAMPA — Former Bucs offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch has found a new home with the defending Super Bowl champions, signing with the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
Benenoch, the Bucs’ fifth-round pick in 2016, started all 16 games at right guard last season but was reduced to a backup tackle role for 2019.
Just before the season opener, the Bucs traded for tackle Jerald Hawkins in a deal with the Steelers. After Benenoch played just three special teams snaps in the Bucs’ Week 1 loss to San Francisco, he was waived last week.
The Patriots need additional offensive line depth since starting tackle and former Lakewood High and Florida Gators standout Isaiah Wynn has a turf toe injury and is expected to at least miss this week’s home game against the Jets.
Though Benenoch was let go by the Bucs, he received workout invitations from nine teams, according to NFL Network. Ultimately wanted to play for longtime Patriots assistant and current-offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Of the seven players the Bucs drafted in 2016, only three remain — first-rounder Vernon Hargreaves, fourth-rounder Ryan Smith and sixth-rounder Devonte Bond — though Smith is currently serving a four-game suspension for a failed PED test.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @EddieInTheYard.