Martellus Bennett feels like he has gotten a bad rap from most of the NFL teams he has blessed with his talents at tight end, so the grief he got from the Packers organization and fans in his final days as a cheesehead didnt faze him.
“I got criticism from all of my former organizations, so, I mean, f— it at this point. I am rubber, and you’re glue, and anything you say bounced off me and sticks to you,” Martellus told locker room reporters after helping Tom Brady and the Patriots advance to 7-2 in a week that he described as “surreal.”
Hes outspoken, hes brash at times, but hes a winner and he balls out something fierce. Bennett has accumulated 430 catches and 30 TDS in his decade of snatching the pigskin while taking and delivering vicious hits.
After his drama with the Green Bay Packers this season, he was thinking about hanging his cleats up. He already proved he was a winner when he snatched 55 passes and scored seven times for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots en route to a 2016 Super Bowl victory. When the Patriots didnt want to pay Bennett the bread he demanded in free agency, he came to Green Bay seeking more money and glory.
Bennett signed a three-year, $21 million contract that included a $6.3 million signing bonus in free agency. But he played just seven games for the Packers.
So he got his paper, but the spoils of war come with setbacks and pitfalls. Bennett was waived on Wednesday because of a shoulder injury that the Packers say he failed to disclose. Bennett disputed that the Packers didn’t know about his shoulder in an Instagram post. He says they made that up because he chose to get surgery rather than play through the injury and wanted a reason to release him.
According to ESPN, Bennett used his Instagram Story — the same avenue he used to post during the bye week that he was “pretty sure” he would retire after this season — to tell his side of the story.
“The Packers examined my shoulder on my visit March 10 and cleared it,” he wrote. “They even gave me an x ray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the Cowboys so I asked to have it checked out and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are …”
And here was a return to the Patriots.
Patriots claim Martellus Bennett off waivers from Packers, per @AdamSchefter
He got a call from Tom Brady, hollered at Dollar Bill Belichick and the next thing you know, Bennett was back with New England making an immediate impact in the Patriots 41-16 thrashing of the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. Bennett played seven snaps and finished with three catches for 38 yards.
It seems as if Belichick always has the magic touch with embattled players, from Aqib Talib to LeGarrette Blount to the often misunderstood Martellus Bennett. Bennett is playing hurt, but his disdain towards the Packers supersedes any pain he may feel from his torn rotator cuff and labrum.
“I talked to six or seven doctors about it, and it could go either way, and it was one of those things that I felt like should get fixed,” Bennett said. “And then after trying to get it fixed and getting waived, you just got that vengeance in your heart. You’re like, ‘Alright, that’s how you’re going to do it? Then … let’s go ball.'”