Martellus Bennett Hints at Retirement on Instagram
Packers tight end Martellus Bennett indicated via a post on Instagram that he's considering retirement.
"After conversation with my family I'm pretty sure these next 8 games will be the conclusion of my NFL career," the post reads. "To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career, these next games are for you. Thank you."
Bennett joined the Packers on a three-year $21 million dollar contract this offseason, representing the team's splashiest foray into free agency in quite some time. The deal hasn't worked out for either party, though. Bennett has only caught 24 passes for 223 yards so far this year and hasn't scored a touchdown, while also struggling with drops. He's also hinted at difficulties getting on the same page as Aaron Rodgers, especially in no-huddle and scramble drill situations.
Bennett's tenure in Green Bay short but colorful
Shortly after Bennett's signing, our Gary Zilavy noted that Bennett has always turned heads wherever he's gone, for all kinds of reasons. For instance, in an interview with Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Bennett dropped all kinds of... unusual... takes:
- Bennett said he wanted to be paid in gold
- Bennett raised his fist during the national anthem
- Bennett said he channeled Luke Cage, a fictional Marvel superhero, in forcing himself to play through an injury
- Bennett tweeted at NASA and got himself invited to tour their facility
- Bennett gave Johnny Manziel a ticket to the AFC Championship Game
Things haven't changed in Green Bay. Bennett has drawn all kinds of attention, including a very notable protest of the National Anthem, the reasons for which he and his brother have articulated quite clearly over the past two seasons. He was joined in the protest this season by fellow tight end Lance Kendricks and defensive back Kevin King.
Bennett has also been a joyful presence in the locker room at times, working with several teammates to put together a selection of fun gifs and providing no shortage of interesting quotes.
Back to the drawing board at tight end
If Bennett does follow through on his retirement plans, the Packers have a few options going forward, but they'll most likely be rebuilding a large part of the tight end position from scratch.
First and foremost, Bennett's retirement will clear some cap space for the Packers, and they'll likely be able to recoup some of his signing bonus.
As far as future options at the position, Lance Kendricks remains under contract for next season and has a very affordable $2.25 million cap hit next season. Though Richard Rodgers is a free agent, he's not likely to command much more than that and is a dependable, if limited, target.
The Packers may also be forced to finally pursue a tight end via the draft. Dating back several seasons, the Packers have consistently been linked to top tight end prospects, but haven't taken the plunge. With Bennett calling it quits, they may have no choice but to acquire the field stretching talent they've been looking for since the untimely end of Jermichael Finley's career.