Martellus Bennett’s career was supposed to be over due to injury, but somehow, he ended up on the Patriots.
The Patriots were gifted a damaged-goods Bennett after the Packers cut ties with the tight end last week, saying he failed to disclose a medical condition, according to ESPN. Bennett claims he played throughout the season with an injured shoulder apparently so painful that after he was released, he considered getting surgery and calling it quits on a 10-year career.
Then he caught three passes for 38 yards in the Patriots’ 41-16 win against the Broncos on Sunday. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it?
Bennett apparently told his agent to notify teams that he didn’t want to be claimed because surgery was on its way. But once he received a call from the Patriots, with whom he played last season, his apparent season-ending surgery that he so wanted to get somehow was forgotten, and the Patriots convinced the injured tight end to play again this season — immediately.
“When Bill [Belichick] called, I was like, ‘No f–king way,’” Bennett said. “Then he was like, ‘What’s going on?’ And I told him. … We had a quick conversation and I was just like, ‘Let me think about it and I’ll call you back.’
“Even then, it wasn’t like, ‘Hey, you want to come?’ It was like, ‘Let me just call you back in a few minutes. Give me a chance to think about it and regroup.’ Because I don’t even know if I went through the seven stages of grief yet. I’m probably on Step 3.
“I think the group of guys on this team couldn’t be a better place for me to, with what I’m going through right now, this situation, it couldn’t be a better place for me, all the familiar faces and friends and things like that. It’s been good to have those guys around.”
Bennett’s thoughts after the win sure sound far different than the guy who went on a lengthy Instagram barn-burning last week about how the Packers and team doctor Patrick McKenzie tried to “f–k over” the tight end.
— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) November 10, 2017
“Dr. [Patrick] McKenzie trying to cover his own ass,” Bennett wrote in the post. “After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery. They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn’t where it is now at the beginning of the season. I f–ked it up playing for the Packers.
“Dr. McKenzie didn’t make [me] feel safe and was pushing [me] to play, which I thought was weird. Not that he was trying to get me play thru it but the way he was saying things. I didn’t trust him. So I got three other opinions from doctors, who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some bulls–t excuse. Failure disclose.”
Bennett went on to say he notified the team every week about the shoulder pain through a body evaluation sheet, but he kept playing and the pain increased. During the Packers’ bye week, he took anti-inflammatories and the pain got worse, which prompted an exam from the team.
“They panicked. Thinking that I was trying to go on the IR and be on their books next year. When I mentioned that I would possibly retire. So they tried to f— me before they thought I would f— them. This was all about the money. All about the money. I get it. But don’t lie, homie. You know wtf was up,” he said.
The Packers aren’t going quietly in all of this, wanting to recoup Bennett’s signing bonus and citing the pre-existing condition, according to NFL Network.
So Bennett goes from the Packers, a team with no passing game with injured star quarterback Aaron Rodgers out for the season, to the likely Super Bowl favorites and Tom Brady after saying he was on the brink of taking a desk job at Netflix. How exactly did he decide that this wasn’t it?
“It’s not about could you play, it’s should you play … right now I’m just like f–k it,” Bennett said after Sunday night’s game. “After you get waived, you’ve got that vengeance in your heart.”