Bennett Moves To Bucs

With rumors that Mewelde Moore might be headed to Tampa Bay, those rumors got squashed late Monday when it was the Kansas City Chiefs that traded former Vikings starter Michael Bennett to the Bucs for an undisclosed draft pick -- expected to be a fifth- or sixth-rounder.

The rumored trade of Mewelde Moore to the Buccaneers before today's trade deadline is now officially off the books, as former Viking Michael Bennett was traded by the Chiefs to the Bucs for an undisclosed draft pick, both sides confirmed Tuesday.

Bennett, a former first-round pick of the Vikings, was set adrift by the Vikings after the 2005 season when the team signed Chester Taylor in free agency. Since then, Bennett's hopes of keeping his career alive have been met with mixed results. Signed by the Saints in the pre-draft free-agent period in 2006, it was expected he would be an insurance policy for Deuce McAllister, who was coming off knee surgery. However, when the Texans passed on Reggie Bush and the talented running back fell to the Saints with the second pick in the draft, it was almost impossible for them to pass – making Bennett's services as a well-compensated third-back option a moot point.

Bennett went to the Chiefs last year and it was anticipated that if Larry Johnson made good on his threat to hold out for some or all of the 2007 season, Bennett could again find himself back in the spotlight. Instead, Johnson and the Chiefs agreed to a deal and with speculation that Priest Holmes could return at midseason, Bennett again found himself a man without a position.

The Buccaneers have been devastated with injuries, losing Cadillac Williams for the season and Michael Pittman for two months. Bennett will have a chance to play a Charlie Garner-type role in the Jon Gruden offense as both a runner and receiver. While he likely won't be a life-saver, he is a veteran with decent speed that fills a glaring need.

And after two seasons of being an NFL nomad, Bennett may finally have found a home. Of course, he's also a free agent after this season, so his journeyman status could be further enhanced.

* Unlike baseball, where the trade deadline involves just about every team making at least one deal, the NFL deadline usually comes as goes with little if any activity, and few if any big-name players changing teams. But, the Bucs have bucked that trend – they've made a trade-deadline deal each of the last four years.
* For much of the season, when teams have gone into passing mode against the Vikings, linebacker Ben Leber has been the odd man out – forced to come out in nickel situations. But, as Leber told VU a couple of weeks ago, the team is looking to find more ways to keep him on the field, which means Chad Greenway may find himself on the sidelines more often when the Vikings go to their nickel defense.
* Adrian Peterson leads the NFL in rushing with 607 yards, despite having played in just five games. The next four players on the rushing list – LaDainian Tomlinson, Ronnie Brown, Willis McGahee and Edgerrin James – have all played in six games and have yet to go on their bye weeks.
* Peterson leads the NFC in total rushing/receiving yards by more than 100 – his 782 yards (607 rushing, 175 receiving) tops the conference while the Eagles' Brian Westbrook is second with 670. The league lead belongs to Ronnie Brown of the winless Dolphins who has been huge – piling up 882 yards in six games.
* In what may be the dumbest poll question in history, fans are being asked at the NFL's official website to vote on the Rookie of the Week. Peterson is a candidate with 361 all-purpose yards – the third-highest total in NFL history. The other candidates are WR Dwayne Bowe, who had four catches for 46 yards for the Chiefs, Saints RB Pierre Thomas, who had a blocked punt for a touchdown, DE Gaines Adams, who had one sack and two solo tackles and Packers RB DeShawn Wynn, who scored the team's only offensive TD. If Peterson doesn't win this in a landslide, fans should not be given the opportunity to vote for such honors.

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