Tampa Bay, Florida — former lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Caleb Benenoch, has joined a new NFL team. The 25-year-old from Lagos, Nigeria, will spend the 2019 season playing for the New England Patriots, after signing with the defending champions on Tuesday.
The offensive tackle was a starting right guard in all 16 games the Bucs played last season. He joined the Floridian team in 2016, as a fifth-round pick. At the beginning of this season, however, the head coach, Bruce Arians, decided to give Benenoch a backup role.
Just as the season was about to start, the Buccaneers managed to strike a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which meant that tackle Jerald Hawkins was coming to the Sunshine State. Hawkins slotted right into the starting lineup, which meant that Benenoch would spend more time on the bench than playing. In fact, in the season opener, which the Buccaneers lost 31–17 to the San Francisco 49ers, Benenoch participated only in three special snaps. After the game, the Buccaneers’ staff decided to waive the player.
Patriots Extending the Roster
The Patriots have decided to bring in Benenoch as they required additional depth on the offensive line. The need arose with their starting tackle, Isaiah Wynn, suffering from an injury. The former Florida Gators star has a toe injury which will probably keep him off the field at least until after the home game against the New York Jets.
Reports claimed that there were nine NFL teams to offer Benenoch workout invitations, which would mean that he would be granted permission to train with other players. Benenoch revealed that one of the reasons he chose to join the Patriots was because it gave him the opportunity to work under Dante Scarnecchia, the current offensive line coach of the champions.
Out of the seven the Bucs drafted in 2016, only three of them are still on Tampa Bay’s payroll — Vernon Hargreaves (first round), Devonte Bond (sixth round), and Ryan Smith (fourth round). Smith is currently on a suspension he received for failing a PED test. The suspension will keep him out of the next four games.