Packers waive tight end Martellus Bennett in stunning move
Packers waive tight end Martellus Bennett in stunning move:-Martellus Bennett had recently indicated that this could be his final NFL season. The Packers ensured Wednesday that the veteran tight end has already played his final game for them, releasing him in a stunning move.
Adding to the intrigue, Green Bay reportedly waived Bennett with a designation of having failed to disclose a medical condition. That could allow the team to try to recoup about $4.2 million, which would be the prorated portion still left on the $6.3 million signing bonus the Packers gave him this year in free agency as part of a three-year, $21 million contract.
The medical condition reportedly cited by the Packers was a shoulder injury that kept Bennett out of Monday night’s loss to the Lions. The 10th-year player was already ruled out of Green Bay’s upcoming game Sunday, which had been viewed as an unusual move this early in the week.
“This is a clear issue of the Packers and Martellus Bennett not being on the same page, really from A to Z,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Wednesday. He added that Bennett “disputes the notion that he hid anything” in terms of an injury.
Known for an unusually diverse array of interests, Bennett is a children’s book author and has a company, The Imagination Agency, that describes itself as “a wondrous group of monsters and imaginary friends tasked with creating, drawing, writing and imaginating fantastical adventures for kids all over the world.” The brother of Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who has sat on the bench during the national anthem before Seattle’s games this year, he shares his sibling’s penchant for outspoken social commentary.
Because Bennett was waived, he can be claimed by another NFL team, which would then have to pay him the rest of his 2017 salary, about $500,000. If he is not claimed, he will pass through waivers and become a free agent Thursday afternoon.
Bennett has already been linked to the Patriots, whom he helped win February’s Super Bowl in his lone season with New England. Bennett spent the previous three years in Chicago, where he still lives, after beginning his career with the Dallas Cowboys and a one-year stint with the New York Giants.
A 2014 Pro Bowl choice, Bennett has 427 catches for 4,520 yards and 30 touchdowns in 142 career games. He was a major part of New England’s championship squad, filling in for star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed most of the season with injuries.
However, Bennett struggled to click with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, catching 20 passes for 194 yards and no touchdowns before Green Bay’s most important player suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6. Bennett caught two passes for 17 yards from Rodgers’s replacement, Brett Hundley, then revealed his thoughts about possible retirement during the team’s Week 8 bye.
“After conversations with my family I’m pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career,” Bennett wrote on Instagram. “To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you.”
Bennett’s next games, assuming there are any, won’t happen in Green Bay. For the time being, his departure leaves the Packers with two tight ends, Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers, on their roster.