Michael Bennett is often regarded by Buccaneers fans as “the one that got away.” The 2009 UFDA signed originally with the Seattle Seahawks but was later waived by Seattle in October of that year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pounced on him immediately, claiming him off of the waiver wire. Bennett did not start for Tampa right away but appeared in 7 games recording 3 combined tackles, and 1 sack. The following season in 2010 he got a chance to start in 2 games and played 13, recording 1 pass defend 1 sack, and 15 combined tackles. In 2011 he stared 10 games playing in 14 recording 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 sacks, and 36 combined tackles, 12 of them for a loss. Then came 2012. Bennett started all 16 games and had a pretty damn good season, recording 9 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 pass defends, and 41 combined tackles, but it would be his last in a Buccaneers uniform.
Following the 2012 season, Bennett tested the free agency waters as an unrestricted free agent and wound up back in the place it all began, Seattle. The veteran Defensive end stayed on with Seattle for 5 more seasons (2013-2017) starting in 62 of 75 games, recording 7 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries for 39 yards, 39.0 sacks, and 109 combined tackles with 69 of them for a loss. Bennett made the Pro Bowl with the Seahawks three straight years in a row (2015-2017) and won a ring for defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLIX (2015).
Bennett was traded to the Eagles for the 2018 season, where he played in 16 games recording 1 pass defended, 2 forced fumbles, 9 sacks, and 34 combined tackles. Following that single season with the Eagles, he was again traded. This time he landed in New England for the 2019 season, where he played in 6 games recording 2.5 sacks before he was traded that same season to the Dallas Cowboys, where he ended his NFL playing experience with 4 sacks.
Bennett played 11 seasons in the NFL recording 13 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 69.5 sacks, 359 combined tackles, 259 of them solo, 132 tackles for loss, and 193 hits on the quarterback.
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Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth – the opportunity to reimagine my purpose. ⠀ I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life. ⠀ As the great Toni Morrison said: “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.“