The Tampa Bay Buccnaeers are unlikely to retain defensive end Michael Bennett next season. With the start of free agency just days away, the sack leader for the Buccaneers is not expected to remain as a member of the Buccaneers moving forward according to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper. The Buccaneers could have applied the franchise tag to Bennett but opted not to, a move which would have cost the team $11 million next season.
The Times reports that the Buccaneers are likely to move Da’Quan Bowers into the starting left end position next season. Bowers is facing a gun charge after trying to board an airplane last month with a loaded firearm in his carry on bag.
Bennett did lead the Buccaneers is sacks last season with nine, but one has to wonder if the player the team signed off the Seattle Seahawks practice squad simply overachieved last season. It is likely that another team around the league will overpay for Bennett in free agency based on last year’s performance.
Increasing depth and sacks from the defensive line is going to be a priority for the Buccaneers this offseason. Tampa’s pass rush has been lacking for the last two seasons and Tampa mustered just 27 sacks in 2012.
The Buccaneers are taking a risk with this move with Bowers facing charges which carry a mandatory jail sentence.