In a bit of a surprise, the Green Bay Packers released tight end, Martellus Bennett, formerly of the Patriots. Bennett signed a free agent contract with the Packers after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots last season. Brought in to be a compliment to Rob Gronkowski, Bennett became the number one tight end when Gronk was lost for the season midway through 2016.
Source: the Packers have cut veteran TE Martellus Bennett. His time in Green Bay is over.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 8, 2017
In 16 games with the Patriots in 2016, Bennett hauled in 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. In just seven games with the Packers, he caught just 24 balls for 233 yards and no touchdowns. He missed Week 9 with an injury.
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Now, the obvious question is, should the Patriots bring him back? And the answer is simply, yes. The team brought in Dwayne Allen and James O’Shaughnessy to compete for the number two spot behind Gronkowski. Allen won the job and O’Shaughnessy didn’t make the club. However, Allen has been more than a disappointment. Allen has failed to haul in a pass through the first half of the season, trailing the likes of an undrafted rookie, Jacob Hollister.
The situation resembles the path LeGarrette Blount followed back to the Patriots, albeit under different circumstances. Blount left in the spring of 2014 to sign with the Steelers only to get released midway through the year. Blount returned to the Patriots and helped them win their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. Bennett, if he chooses to do so, can follow the same path.
At the moment, Bennett has not yet cleared waivers and has brought up the idea of retirement after the season, so there are certainly hurdles to overcome. In addition, he was set to miss this Sunday due to injury, however, how injured he really was is suspect with his release.
The Patriots know what Bennett brings to the table and he has proven he can succeed in this environment. There is a group of fans that unfortunately remember Bennett for his drop in the closing moments of Super Bowl LI, however, he was an integral part of the Patriots Super Bowl run. With the loss of Gronkowski, the Patriots don’t win the Super Bowl without Marty B.
Let’s bring him back for an encore.
– Ian Glendon is the National Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.