Bucs' Bennett gets first-round tender

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
4:15
PM ET
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired defensive end Michael Bennett without using a draft pick. They could end up with a first-round pick if Bennett is signed away as a restricted free agent.

A league source said the Bucs have placed the high tender on Bennett. That tender is expected to be worth approximately $2.7 million. The team has not announced the move.

The high tender shows the Bucs obviously have great respect for Bennett and think he can continue to blossom. Bennett entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and signed with Seattle. After being released by the Seahawks, he was signed by the Bucs and gradually has gone from a role player to a starter.

Bennett started 10 games last season and produced a career-high four sacks. The Bucs had a disastrous 2011 season, but one area that the new coaching staff is looking to build around is the defensive line. There is promise there with Bennett joining Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, who the Bucs used their first two draft choices on last year. The Bucs also have defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, who were picked in the first two rounds in 2010.

The Bucs also have placed a right-of-first refusal tender on reserve offensive lineman Demar Dotson, who started two games last season. That tender is expected to be worth about $1.26 million. Dotson was not drafted so the Bucs would not receive any compensation if he leaves for another team.

The Bucs also have tendered their two exclusive-rights free agents -- running back LeGarrette Blount and receiver Preston Parker. Each of those tenders are expected to be valued at $540,000.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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