- Martellus Bennett was cut by the Green Bay Packers with the designation of failing to disclose an injury.
- Bennett has reportedly had a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum, had not played in two weeks, and was already ruled out of the Packers’ Week 10 game.
- On Friday, Bennett was practicing with the Patriots.
Martellus Bennett’s health and exit from the Green Bay Packers continues to get stranger.
On Wednesday, Bennett was suddenly cut from the Packers with the designation of failing to disclose an injury to the team.
Bennett was on waivers and was picked up by New England Patriots for the rest of the season.
On Friday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Bennett has been playing through a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff. However, on Friday, Bennett was practicing on the field with the Patriots, which ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted is a reflection of passing his physical with the Patriots.
Bennett had practiced just once over the previous two weeks with the Packers and had not played since Week 7. He had already been ruled out of the Packers’ Week 10 game against the Chicago Bears.
Adding to the confusion, during the Packers’ bye week, Bennett posted on social media that he was “pretty sure” he would retire after the season.
When Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked about cutting Bennett, he would not say if it had anything to do with Bennett’s possible desire to retire.
“I mean, really, to tie all that together, you’re asking me to get inside somebody else’s feelings, conversation, more on a personal level,” McCarthy said (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). “I think this all started obviously coming out of the bye week. Everything leading up to that, I can’t really comment on it. And then we went down this injury path, and then here we are today. So, I mean, it’d be all speculation.”
McCarthy added that he never spoke with Bennett about retirement.
Bennett signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Packers in the offseason after recording a 700-yard, 7-touchdown season with the Patriots in 2016. According to Demovsky, by saying Bennett failed to disclose an injury, the Packers could try to recoup some of the unamortized portion of Bennett’s $6.3 million signing bonus.
The Patriots picked up the remainder of Bennett’s three-year, $21 million deal. However, Bennett has a $2 million bonus option for 2018 that the Patriots could decline, making Bennett a free agent. As Rapoport noted, there is little risk in the Patriots claiming him, as if his shoulder is an issue this year, they could also put him on the Injured Reserve.
If Bennett plays this week, it may reveal more about the severity of his injury and his exit from Green Bay.