Friday, January 19, 2018
  • Bucs Beat
  • Rick Stroud and Greg Auman

McCoy says he’d ‘love’ to have Michael Bennett back with Bucs

Michael Bennett isn't a free agent yet, but if the Seahawks decide to cut the 32-year-old Pro Bowl defensive end, count Gerald McCoy among those who would support Tampa Bay bringing him back.

"If @mosesbread72 is serious about Seattle not wanting him back, I know a former teammate that would love to have him," McCoy wrote on Twitter after Bennett wondered aloud if Seattle would bring him back.

Bennett, of course, has been the elite pass-rusher the Bucs let get away. He played for Tampa Bay from 2009-12,  getting nine sacks in his final season. But the Bucs let him sign with Seattle, trusting instead in young draft picks like Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.

Bennett has 39 sacks in his five years in Seattle, helping the Seahawks win a Super Bowl his first year and barely lose to the Patriots in his second. He's 32, but had 8.5 sacks last season — all the Bucs defensive ends together combined for 7.5, and the team had just 22, lowest among all NFL teams.

Would the Bucs bring Bennett back if he hit the open market? He's due to count $7.2-million against Seattle's cap, and the Seahawks would only save about $2-million by cutting him. But Seattle doesn't have much cap room, so they make cuts just to give the flexibility to address other needs.

Seattle barely missed the playoffs when Atlanta won its final game, but Bennett said this week he's committed to playing in 2018, and in Seattle if they'll allow him to return.

"Yeah I'm 100 percent committed," he told the Seattle Times. "I think I'm in my prime. I want to play as long as I can. There are so many great players on this team and it's a great organization."

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