Former Seahawks DL Michael Bennett (96) made a strong impression during his first NFL preseason
The Seattle Seahawks waived rookie defensive lineman Michael Bennett on Saturday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made sure he wasn't unemployed for long.
Bennett introduced himself to the NFL with a string of outstanding preseason performances this summer, in the process earning a roster spot in Seattle despite being an undrafted free agent.
The Buccaneers obviously took notice, too, and when Seattle released him in order to promote an offensive lineman from the practice squad, they swooped in to claim Bennett off waivers on Monday. To make room on their 53-man roster, the team waived rookie offensive lineman Marc Dile, who was also an undrafted free agent this past spring.
The 6-4, 274-pound Bennett played in all four preseason games for Seattle and racked up nine tackles, two sacks, five tackles for loss, five quarterback pressures, a fumble recovery and a pass defensed. He even started the final warmup for the Seahawks at left defensive tackle, finishing the game with two tackles, one tackle for a loss, three quarterback pressures, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery. His fumble recovery in the second quarter against Oakland led to a Seattle touchdown one play later.
The former Texas A&M standout signed with the Seahawks immediately following the conclusion of the 2009 draft. Though he came to Seattle as a defensive end, his college position, he was eventually moved inside to take advantage of his interior pass-rushing abilities. Bennett did not appear in any of Seattle's four regular-season games before his release.
Bennett played four years at A&M and produced 139 tackles and eight sacks. He was an honorable mention all-conference selection as a junior in 2007 despite starting only one game and he finished his run with the Aggies with 42 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2008. The 23-year-old Bennett hails from Alief, Texas.
Dile, who played his college ball at nearby South Florida, made the Buccaneers' 53-man roster but was inactive for each of the first five games of the regular season. Dile was also a versatile performer for the Buccaneers during training camp and the preseason, seeing action at both center and guard.
The Buccaneers have shown an interest in a number of young and intriguing defensive linemen since the start of the regular season. Rookie end Maurice Evans, formerly of Penn State, has spent time on the roster on two separate occasions after being claimed off waivers from the New York Giants just before the start of the season. Third-year end Tim Crowder was signed after his release by the Broncos and he not only remains on the Bucs' roster but has also become an active part of the team's game-day rotation on the line.