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Asking prices will likely force Bucs to pass on Bennett, Miller

Posted Mar 8, 2013 by Roy Cummings

Updated Mar 8, 2013 at 01:32 PM

Tribune Staff

TAMPA - There is a strong likelihood that Buccaneers fans have seen the last of DE Michael Bennett and DT Roy Miller in Tampa Bay uniforms.

Unless the two defensive starters drop their asking price, which is unlikely at this point, the Bucs will not make an effort to re-sign either one of them before or after the start of free agency on Tuesday.

The reasons are rather simple. In Bennett’s case the Bucs believe they have an upgrade waiting in the wings in Da’Quan Bowers, a second-round pick out of Clemson who was once considered the top talent in the 2010 draft.

And in the case of Miller, a two-down player who offers little in the way of pass rush help, the Bucs believe an equal or better replacement can be found for the price they’re willing to pay, which is about $2 million or $3 million a year.

Still, it is a curious stance the Bucs are taking. Since Mark Dominik took over as GM four years ago the Bucs goal has been to draft players or grab them off waivers or other team’s practice squads, develop them and then reward those that have become regulars with new contracts.

Bennett, who became a starter after being claimed off waivers from Seattle in 2009, and Miller, a Bucs 2009 third-round draft pick, would seem to epitomize that ideal, yet both appear to be headed elsewhere.

As tough as that may be for Bennett and Miller, both of whom have expressed a strong desire to remain in Tampa, the Bucs hard-line stance is further proof that the NFL is as much of a business as it is a game and in business, most decisions are based on dollars and cents.

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