Michael Bennett (running back)

Michael Bennett

refer to caption

At a game in Denver in October, 2010.
No. 23, 26, 29, 32
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1978-08-13) August 13, 1978
Place of birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 211 lb (96 kg)
Career information
College: Wisconsin
NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 3,703
Rushing average: 4.4
Rushing TDs: 13
Receiving yards: 1,294
Receiving average: 8.1
Receiving TDs: 6
Player stats at NFL.com

Michael A. Bennett (born August 13, 1978) is a former American football running back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings 27th overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin.

A Pro Bowl selection with the Vikings in 2002, Bennett has also been a member of the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders. He was one of the fastest sprinters in college history clocking in a record 4.13 in the 40-yard dash, the second fastest in NFL history behind only Bo Jackson who ran a 4.12.

Early years

Bennett attended Milwaukee Trade and Technical High School. As a senior, he was ranked the top football player in the state, and was an All-State selection.

College career

Bennett attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a standout in football and in track as a sprinter. He spent two years as a backup to Ron Dayne, but, as a junior, he rushed for 1,592 yards and scored ten touchdowns, despite missing two games due to injury.

Track and field

As a junior at the 1997 state track meet, Bennett set records in the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes, then broke both records as a senior in 1998.

Personal bests

Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
60 meters 6.67 Fayetteville, Arkansas May 10, 2000
100 meters 10.00 (wind-aided)[1] Austin, Texas May 6, 2000
200 meters 20.66 Tempe, Arizona May 18, 2000

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 9 in 207 lb 4.28 s 1.52 s 2.54 s 4.21 s 6.84 s 39.5 in 10 ft 10 in 13 reps
All values from Wisconsin Pro Day.[2]

Minnesota Vikings

Bennett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (27th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2001, Bennett was thrust into a starting role after the sudden retirement of star running back Robert Smith. In 2002, Bennett rushed for 1,296 yards and added 351 yards receiving on his way to the Pro Bowl. However, his career stalled due to injuries the following year.

The Vikings released Bennett at the conclusion of the 2005 NFL season due to his persistent injury and ball handling problems.

New Orleans Saints

He was signed by the New Orleans Saints to serve as the backup to Deuce McAllister. After the addition of Reggie Bush in the 2006 NFL Draft, Bennett became expendable and was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fourth round draft choice.

Kansas City Chiefs

Bennett spent the 2006 season and part of the 2007 season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He played in 17 games for the Chiefs in all, carrying the ball 56 times for 252 yards and no touchdowns. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just over a month in the 2007 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On October 16, 2007 the Buccaneers acquired Bennett from the Chiefs after injuries to running backs Carnell Williams and Michael Pittman. His first touchdown as a Buccaneer came in Week 8 of the 2007 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars off a 19-yard swing pass run.

On February 15, 2008, Bennett re-signed with the Buccaneers in lieu of becoming an unrestricted free agent. Bennett was released on November 11 when Carnell Williams was activated from the PUP list.

San Diego Chargers

Bennett was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Chargers on November 12, 2008. The team released linebacker Derek Smith to make room for him on the roster.[3] He was released on March 4, 2010. During the 2009 season with San Diego, Bennett played in six games, rushing 23 times for 65 yards, and catching six passes for 65 yards.[4]

Oakland Raiders

Bennett signed with the Oakland Raiders on May 6, 2010. He was released on September 5, 2011. During the 2010 season with Oakland, he gained 11 yards rushing and nine yards receiving while playing in seven games.[4]


Michael Bennett and friend.

Bennett is the nephew of former Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts linebacker / defensive end Tony Bennett. He was arrested in 2015 on suspicion of stealing about $325,000 in cash by fraudulently taking out loans against the value of a home owned by his ex-girlfriend’s parents. He was already on federal parole stemming from a 2012 federal wire fraud conviction in Florida.[5]


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