The Tampa Bay Buccaneers extended multiple tenders to upcoming free agents on Wednesday, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.
Running back LeGarrette Blount was designated as an exclusive-rights free agent on Wednesday.
The most high-profile player of the bunch is defensive end Michael Bennett, given a first round tender -- valued at $2.742 million -- a clear statement of the team's interest in retaining the former Texas A&M Aggie. Bennett is a versatile pass rusher who, for the most part, did a nice job staving off talented rookie Da'Quan Bowers at the left defensive end spot. The older brother of Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett managed 40 tackles, four sacks, and one forced fumble this past season.
Running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Preston Parker, a pair of exclusive-rights free agents, were slapped with tenders valued at $540,000. Blount, one of the league's breakout rookie performers in 2010, regressed in 2011 as his yards per carry dipped by 0.8 and he failed to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark despite appearing in more games.
Finally, the Buccaneers placed the right-of-first-refusal tender on 6-9, 315-pound offensive tackle DeMar Dotson, a player that is well-liked within the organizational ranks. Tampa would not receive draft pick compensation if Dotson is signed by another team. According to Yasinskas, the tender is expected to be valued at $1.26 million.
With free agency beginning on Tuesday, March 13th, teams are making final adjustments leading up to what is sure to be a pleasantly chaotic and eventful 2012 offseason.
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