Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Which Upcoming Free Agents Should Be Re-Signed First?

Caleb Abner@cjabshypeContributor IIIJanuary 11, 2013

November 11, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett (71) rushes as San Diego Chargers tackle Jeromey Clary (66) blocks during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the San Diego Chargers 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed the playoffs and therefore have a head start on figuring out how to shape the team for next season.

That will mean deciding on which of the team's upcoming free agents should be re-signed, or which ones should be left free to seek other opportunities.

Given below, are three players whom the Bucs should try to re-sign before moving in any other direction. 


DE Michael Bennett

Though the left end is a force to be reckoned with as both a pass rush and a run stopper, he is continually overlooked by the media and fans alike.

This past season, he recorded nine sacks, 34 solo tackles and three forced fumbles, pretty showy numbers for a guy who gets as little attention as Bennett does.

Without Bennett, the team would lose a strong outside pass rush and a dominant force in the run game. So pay the man. 


TE Dallas Clark

In 2012, Dallas Clark did not put up the greatest numbers.

We're talking about 47 receptions and 435 yards.

He's also 33 years old.

So why should the Bucs re-sign him?

Well, because he's still their best tight end. Luke Stocker can block, sure, but what has he ever done as a receiver? Other tight ends include the little-known Nate Byham, Danny Noble and Drake Dunsmore—none of whom have proved much of anything this far in their careers .

Basing a possible 2013 contract off of  his 2012 salary of $2.7 million, he could be a fairly inexpensive option for filling the hole his absence would leave.


DT Roy Miller

Miller makes the list as yet another unheralded defensive lineman who never seems to get his credit. 

While he doesn't really show up on the stat sheet (23 tackles, two stuffs), he serves as an fine complement to the outstanding Gerald McCoy.

The unheralded part might serve to the Bucs' advantage, as they might be able to lock up Miller on the cheap.