Before joining the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, Michael Bennett played four seasons with the Tampa Buccaneers, and he made it known after his contract expired that he wanted to stay with Tampa Bay.
Long story short, the Buccaneers let Bennett get away, and he is still unhappy that he and the team parted ways after the 2012 season.
“I was upset too,” the Pro Bowl defensive end told PewterReport.com. “You go for a long time, and you play for an organization, and you think you will be there forever. I never wanted to leave Tampa. I thought I would retire a Buccaneer, but then I end up here (Seattle). I guess the Glazers didn’t think I was good enough to come back so… hopefully one day I will get to watch Gerald (McCoy) retire as a Buccaneer and me retire as a Seahawk, and get to see Gerald win a championship. That would be fun.”
Despite career-highs in tackles (41), sacks (9), and forced fumbles (3), the Buccaneers didn’t re-sign Bennett, but he made out OK in Seattle, winning a Super Bowl in 2014.
“I didn’t do too bad for myself (playing for Seattle), but I could have done the same thing for Tampa!” Bennett said. “They just needed to give that young team time. You look at the Pro Bowl now and there are eight players from that team right now playing in this game. It is crazy. They did a great job of scouting, except doing a good job of keeping them together.”
The Buccaneers, at the time, didn’t think Bennett could sustain his 2012 level of play. Boy, were they wrong.