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Michael Bennett “Probably Done” with Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Does This Impact New York Giants?

March 8th, 2013 at 2:15 PM
By Paul Tierney

The New York Giants are not likely to sign defensive end Michael Bennett on the free-agent market this offseason and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided not to slap Bennett with the $11 million franchise tag this week, which means he will be free for any team to acquire beginning on March 12th. 

'David Carr and Martellus Bennett Warm Up' photo (c) 2012, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

However, given the Giants current salary cap situation, there is a less than slim chance Big Blue can find adequate funds to bring Bennett onto the roster. Regardless, Bennett's impending departure from Tampa Bay could still have a significant impact on the Giants offseason, as the team is still attempting to re-sign his slightly younger brother Martellus Bennett for the upcoming 2013 campaign.

Previous reports indicate that the Bennett brothers had a strong desire to play together next season, and Tampa Bay seemed like a perfect fit. The Buccaneers are one of few teams around the NFL with the salary cap space and the positional need for the services of both Bennett brothers, which led pundits to believe that the two would find a way to make it work. However, given that Michael Bennett has proclaimed he is "probably done" as a Buccaneer, that scenario seems to have gone by the wayside.

Regardless of Michael Bennett's situation, Tampa Bay still needs a tight end. The Bucs started an aging veteran in Dallas Clark at tight end for the majority of the 2013 season and have no long term answer currently on the roster. If the Bucs decide they want to pursue Martellus Bennett, they will be able to outbid the Giants.

However, it probably does not sit well with Martellus that his older brother was just let go by the team after having a career season. The NFL is a business and usually players are able to stay put personal issues aside during negotiations, especially with the mass amounts of money being given out to deserving athletes. That's why Martellus has an agent to advocate for him and make sure he maximizes his market value.

We also know that as a person, Martellus Bennett is about as lively and unpredictable as they come. His personality was not well received in Dallas; however, he quickly became a fan favorite in New York after nicknaming himself the "Black Unicorn." Martellus is even on record stating he would consider giving the Giants a "hometown discount" in order to further develop his chemistry with Eli Manning and establish himself as one of the more productive tight ends in the NFL. There's no telling what his mindset is and how his brother's situation will effect what team he plays for in 2013.

The Giants have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. With the limited salary cap room the team has to spend, it's going to be extremely difficult for the team to match a significant offer for Martellus Bennett. Given the recent string of success tight ends have had catching passes from Eli Manning, it may be wise to fill the void with a cheaper option. However, one of Big Blue's main competitors for Bennett's services may have just suffered a setback. It may only slightly improve the Giants chances of retaining Bennett, but it may just be enough to keep him in Blue next season.

See: Big Blue View offers a similar take on this situation (written prior to Giants 101).

Also…

Tags: Dallas, Dallas Clark, discount, Eli Manning, Football, Martellus Bennett, Michael Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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7 Responses to “Michael Bennett “Probably Done” with Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Does This Impact New York Giants?”

  1.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    REPOST:

    Just catching up on all the threads and had a few thoughts.

    I’ve said it before, but if Aaron Ross will come cheap on a 2-3 year deal, I would sign him in a heartbeat. He’s not going to be a starter for us, but he knows the system and the guys on the team, and when healthy…he was actually very solid for us. T2 is no sure thing, so Ross would be a good #4-5 CB. In addition, coming out of college Ross was an EXCELLENT KR – we just never used him there because it was too big of a liability with him starting at CB for us. If Hixon walks (or even if he remains a Giant) Ross would also be a great KR and special teams player for us.

    With regards to KP – I will be shocked if he’s back…and won’t be a bit surprised to be playing for someone else within the NFC East. Every team in the division has a need at safety…and the Eagles specifically are going to have money to burn. Dallas has already came out and stated that they NEVER threw the ball at KP – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerruh throw a lot of money KP’s way. Then throw in teams like the Bucs, Panthers and even potentially a team like the Niners (who are letting Gholdson walk due to the 8M/yr he is asking) coupled with the fact that KP has verbally expressed displeasure for how his injury was handled, and I think you can all but kiss him goodbye.

    I saw this morning where Michael Bennett is unlikely to be back in Tampa. I think that this helps the Giants front office out a little bit if what the Unicorn has said about wanting to play with his brother; is he going to go down to Tampa when they just overlooked his brother? I guess if the money is just WAY too much to turn down, then sure…but if Michael walks, that may even the playing field with the Bucs by just a little bit. Still unsure if the Unicorn is back though…gun to my head, I would say no. I have been banging the drum all off season, but if he does walk I would target Fred Davis or Brandon Meyers.

    I think that Kevin Boothe will be back at a reasonable deal. This draft class is loaded with interior line depth – many of whom could probably come in from day one and play just as well, if not better than Boothe. He isn’t a “name” player and while solid, didn’t do anything or perform on a level that is going to “wow” teams into throwing him a mega contract. I figure that he will reach the market but most likely re-sign with Big Blue on a relatively team friendly deal.

    Regarding Aqib Talib – I want no part of the guy. For one, he is a HUGE scumbag…both on and off the field. The guy is a headcase and not really someone who I think would fit in well in our locker room. Secondly, he is going to command WAY more money than we have to spend in FA; probably one of the top FA’s on the market behind only Gholdson, Mike Wallace and Jared Cook. Third, he got OWNED by Hakeem last year…and his play, while sometimes spectacular, is also at times VERY suspect. No thank you!

    Finally, with Victor Cruz…I suspect that some of this talk about teams forfeiting picks to sign him to a mega-deal are well planted by his agent. Sure, I’m sure a team like the Rams would LOVE to finally give Bradford some weapons…but to forfeit a high first round draft choice AND pony up 50M+ is a LOT…especially with the new “cap-friendly” rookie salaries. I figure that they will target a guy like Cordelle Patterson, who is being dubbed Julio Jones-esque and see how that pans out. Sure, Victor Cruz has played phenomenal throughout the past 2 years…and is certainly a playmaker…but he has also had the benefit of playing across from Hakeem Nicks and with Eli Manning throwing him the ball. I am not discrediting Cruz at all…I love him as a player, both on and off the field…and really hope that JR locks him up long term…but right now, the Giants front office holds all the cards.

  2.  CT GIANT says:

    Just a note on Cruz. I think it’s Dwayne Bowe WR KC, who just inked a 56M dollar deal, and I saw his stats in order, with Victor’s on top of all of them {WR}.
    All he has to do, is wait! He’s already in Media Heaven as a NY GIANT, and no one, or should I say, yet, has really gone after a RFA with both a #1 Plus $$$.
    Wallace WR Pitts thought that, look where he is?
    CT GIANT

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    We’d all like to keep Cruz and Bennett. We cannot keep both, perhaps neither (Cruz for 2013 and gone; Bennett gone now).

    But let’s remember that we retained Beatty (the most important signing of all, without question) and we SHOULD be about to see the debut of Brewer at right tackle. Even if Boothe leaves, which he may well not, we’d have some combination of Snee, Baas and Cordle on the inside; Mosley getting his feet wet as depth; at least one presumably top rookie draftee; and perhaps Diehl or McCants (or someone else) as depth too. That line should be good enough to allow David Wilson to be a fantastic weapon in 2013, and to allow Andre Brown to have a very strong season too.

    The above means a decent, or better, running game, and if Eli Manning has a decent running game then his combination of talent and ability to assess and audible at the LOS makes the play-action run-pass game of the Giants almost impossible to stop NO MATTER WHO PLAYS TIGHT END and, to some extent, whomever plays the slot position (which in all likelihood Cruz will be doing in 2013).

    In other words, shore up the offensive line just a bit more and the issues in the slot and at tight end diminish significantly. The offense needs to score. How doesn’t matter. But we will have as good a “scoring run game” in 2013 as we’ve seen in at least four years and Eli Manning is a better quarterback, with better receivers, than was the case in 2008. That’s why I’m not losing sleep over Cruz and Bennett and none of you should either.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    If you insist on losing sleep over the Giants, the place you should be looking is up the gut of the defense. There is by no means yet a solution at defensive tackle and MIKE that is more than a wish-and-a-prayer.

    COULD Joseph, Austin, Rogers, Kuhn and someone(s) else come to camp and look like they can man the spot at DT? Sure, but that’s a shaky proposition. COULD Herzlich be ready to be a big-time middle linebacker? Possible, but no reason yet to believe so except a terrific performance in Week 17 against a team that had quit. Muasau may be a decent depth guy, but they need a LOT better down the middle of the defense than we saw last season. They were pretty consistently embarrassed in there.

  5.  giankees says:

    Why would a team offer approx 10 mill to a slot reciever and give up a #1 and have to pay when you can just sign wallace jennings amendola or whoever gets dropped over the next 2 months without giving up a #1 which nobody parts with these days. Makes no sense at all. And if you do have cap space it doesnt mean you will waste it on 1 player. If someone is stupid enough to give a #1 reese will be licking his chops trust me.

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