Martellus Bennett Will Make Headlines in Green Bay
Tight end Martellus Bennett is the most unique target that Aaron Rodgers has had with the Packers.
Throughout his career, Bennett has been a matchup issue for linebackers and won contested catches in the red zone. 23 of his 30 career touchdowns have come in the red zone, and 16 of the 23 have come from inside the ten-yard line.
The arrival of the talented tight end in Green Bay reminds me of the 2007 offseason when Randy Moss was rumored to be traded to the Packers. General manager Ted Thompson came extremely close to trading for Moss, but the Patriots offered a higher draft pick.
Now, Thompson’s learned from losing out on a game breaking talent and offered big money to a target that can change the Packers’ fortunes on offense.
Much like Moss, Bennett is a curious character. The tight end has played on four teams since 2008, and makes headlines with his words. Here’s a sampling:
- 2008 preseason: The Cowboys are on HBO’s Hard Knocks and the rookie Bennett is portrayed as a lazy and unmotivated player. He was having trouble learning the Cowboys' offense, but later episodes showed he worked hard to improve.
- January 2009: Bennett was fined $22,000 for an explicit rap song he posted on YouTube.
- 2012 offseason: After signing a one-year deal with the Giants, it’s reported he gained 20 pounds since the end of the 2011 season and now weighs 295.
- 2014 training camp: Bennett slammed the Bears’ first round pick and rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller to the ground and was suspended for five days.
- 2015 offseason: Bennett skipped the voluntary portions of coach John Fox’s first offseason program because he wanted to redo his contract. He returned for mandatory minicamp without a new deal.
- November 4, 2015: Bennett questioned his role in coordinator Adam Gase’s offense after he had three catches for 32 yards in a loss to the Vikings. At that point in the season, he had 58 targets, the third-most in the league at his position.
- November 26, 2015: Bennett sat out the Bears’ Thanksgiving-night win against Packers. He later said he didn’t watch the Bears’ victory on television.
This past offseason, Bennett was traded from the Bears to the Patriots. New England, much like Green Bay, has a culture that doesn’t tolerate dissenting opinions.
The unpredictable tight end not only fit in, but he flourished with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. He was a stabilizing force after Rob Gronkowski’s season ending back injury.
He still managed to drum up some headlines during his time in New England. Here’s a few from last season alone, courtesy of Peter King’s MMQB:
- 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
So, get ready for headlines from Martellus Bennett.
This conversation first appeared on Blue 58. Our weekly podcast goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.