Green Bay Packers Release Martellus Bennett

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Martellus Bennett‘s brief stint with the Green Bay Packers is at a premature end.

The Packers released Bennett on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates who initially reported on the news. According to Yates, Green Bay is cutting ties with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Green Bay Packers Release Martellus Bennett

Bennett, 30, signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Packers at the onset of free agency on March 10th. It came off an impressive lone season with the New England Patriots in 2016. He made 12 starts and caught 55 passes for 701 yards while setting a career high with seven touchdown receptions. He added five catches for 62 yards in Super Bowl LI.

But his production took a step back with the Packers in 2017. In seven starts, he managed a mere 233 receiving yards while failing to register a single touchdown. His 33.3 yards per game is the lowest total of his career since 2011 when he found himself behind Jason Witten on the tight end depth chart with the Dallas Cowboys. Bennett missed Monday night’s 30-17 loss to the Detroit Lions due to a shoulder injury.

Bennett’s most prolific season to this point came in 2014, his second with the Chicago Bears. He registered career highs in receptions (90) and receiving yardage (916) while adding six touchdown grabs. It earned him a spot in his only Pro Bowl to date. For his career, Bennett has 4,520 yards and 30 touchdowns which ranks him tenth and 13th respectively among active players at his position.

The veteran tight end made waves last week when he indicated through his Instagram account that he was likely to retire after the 2017 season. Considering the length of his deal with the Packers, that certainly came as a bit of a surprise. Not only did he have two years remaining on his deal after this year, he was due a $2 million roster bonus if he was still with the team on the third day of the 2018 league year.

Takeaways

The Packers’ decision to move on from Bennett makes an already depleted offense that much more short-handed. The team already lost Aaron Rodgers due to a broken collarbone and his replacement Brett Hundley┬áis struggling with consistency. What will be interesting to see moving forward is whether or not Green Bay will look to void the remainder of Bennett’s contract. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport indicated this is a possibility due to the designation associated with his release.

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