Buccaneers won't use franchise tag, says GM Mark Dominik

USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said the Bucs will not use the franchise tag this season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said the Bucs will not use the franchise tag on any player this season. Their top unrestricted free agent and the player considered the most likely candidate for a franchise tag prior to Dominik's statement was defense end Michael Bennett.

Bennett led the Bucs with nine sacks last season and three forced fumbles in his fourth season; he also added 41 tackles and defended two passes. As a defensive end, his franchise tag value would be just under $11 million, a price the Buccaneers have decided is too high. Dominik hopes he can keep Bennett in Tampa and with $30.1 million available in cap space the Bucs have the room to make a deal.

Tampa has 10 pending unrestricted free agents, outside of Bennett, tackle Jeremy Trueblood was considered another possible option to receive a tag. Last season Tampa used its franchise tag on kicker Connor Barth, who later signed a long-term deal.

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