Buccaneers: Five players that made their mark away from Tampa Bay

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5. Michael Bennett

This one still hurts. This really hurts. It might even be wrong to put Michael Bennett on this list, but he has made his mark away from Tampa Bay. But this is all on the Buccaneers. Bennett could still be a Buc, which would make the team’s defensive line downright deadly. But instead, in his infinite wisdom, Greg Schiano decided Bennett wasn’t right for his scheme (yeah, a scheme that stuck around in Tampa for a grand total of one season after that move). Bennett also said he didn’t feel like the Glazer family wanted him on the team.

Regardless of how, the Bucs ruined their chance at having another defensive superstar. Bennett is still making a huge impact in Seattle with the Seahawks. With Tampa Bay, he flashed the potential of a big-time player. He finished with nine sacks in 2012, coming close to the team’s first 10-sack season since 2005. Injury concerns (that turned out to be unfounded), discipline issues (that somehow made him unfit for Schiano’s scheme) and whatever feelings the Glazers had led him to Seattle starting in 2013.

In four seasons with the Seahawks, Bennett is up to 106 tackles and 30 1/2 sacks. He’s now a Super Bowl champion, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a Pro Bowl MVP. If the Bucs hadn’t destroyed their relationship with the talented defensive end, what could have been? Would Tampa Bay have a second Super Bowl trophy? I really doubt it, but would there have been as much losing? He certainly would have made the defense a whole lot better. What-ifs aside, Bennett lands on this list because, by no fault of his own, his Tampa Bay career was disappointing and what followed was “super” success.

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