'It's a done deal;' Bucs trade for Bennett

According to WarpaintIllustrated's Nick Athan, the Buccaneers have acquired backup Michael Bennett from Kansas City.

According to Nick Athan of Warpaintillustrated.com, Kansas City traded running back Michael Bennett to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night for a 2008 draft choice.

"It's a done deal," Athan said by phone. "He's flying into Tampa this morning (Tuesday). I think it's a sixth-rounder. The Chiefs already have the Bucs' seventh-rounder for Ryan Sims."

The Buccaneers confirmed Bennett's trade at 1:15 p.m. EST.

Bennett, a seven-year veteran, has played for both Minnesota and Kansas City. He played for the Chiefs for the past two seasons as a backup to both Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson.

Bennett is an immediate improvement to a Bucs running game that mustered less than 50 yards total the past two games. Bennett is also a former 1,000-yard rusher, having done so with the Minnesota Vikings in 2002.

Bennett is a former first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 2001. After five seasons with the Vikings, Bennett left for a two-year deal with New Orleans before the 2006 season. But the Saints dealt Bennett to the Chiefs on Aug. 2, 2006, for a fourth-round pick in 2007.

Bennett found playing time immediately in Minnesota, rushing for 682 yards his rookie season. He followed that with his best season as a pro, gaining 1,296 yards on 255 carries (a 5.1-yard average) and five touchdowns.

Since then, Bennett has either shared carries or served as a backup. So far this season Bennett rushed for only 52 yards on 20 carries.

Bennett is also a solid receiver out of the backfield, an asset considering Michael Pittman — the Bucs' best pass-catching back — is out until at least mid-November. Bennett had a career-high 37 catches in 2002. He had 10 catches for 47 yards this season.

Bennett has dealt with injury problems. He missed three games his rookie season with an ankle injury. He missed the first seven games of 2003 on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury. He spent the first five games of 2004 inactive with a knee injury. And he missed four games in 2006 with hamstring and ankle injuries.

Bennett will be a free agent after this season. He was scheduled to make $1.2 million in base salary this season.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.


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