Packers Sign Martellus Bennett

Just after learning they wouldn’t re-sign Jared Cook, the Packers have added a new tight end, as Green Bay announced that it has signed Martellus Bennett. It’s a three-year, $21MM deal, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com"<strong.

Bennett, who turns 30 years old today, will earn quite the birthday present as he heads to the Packers in order to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers. Of course, Bennett didn’t have it too bad in New England with Tom Brady, but once the Patriots acquired fellow tight end Dwayne Allen from the Colts, Bennett appeared as good as gone. Bennett reportedly rejected an in-season extension from New England, and was looking for $9MM annually on the open market.

With Cook out of the picture, Bennett becomes the primary tight end in a Green Bay offense that ranked fourth in DVOA last season. While Cook posted a solid bounceback season in 2016, there’s little question Bennett is the superior player: Bennett ranked as PFR’s No. 20 overall free agent and the No. 1 tight end on the market, ahead of Cook, Jack Doyle, and Vernon Davis.

The Patriots acquired Bennett and a sixth-round pick from the Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick, and the acquisition paid immediate dividends. Appearing in all 16 games, Bennett managed 55 receptions for 701 yards and seven touchdowns, and helped New England overcome the loss of fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Bennett created a healthy market during the legal tampering and the first two days of free agency. The Raiders reportedly showed “heavy interest” in his services, while Giants, Jaguars, and Raiders were also eyeing Bennett. Instead, he’ll slot in alongside Richard Rodgers in the Packers’ tight end group.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com was the first to report the deal (Twitter link), while Tom Pelissero of USA Today noted that it’s a multi-year contract (Twitter link). Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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58 comments on “Packers Sign Martellus Bennett

    • Hannibal8us

      Bennett is a 100x better than Cook. My guess is Cook was demanding as much money as it took to get Bennett and they decided to get the better player. We’ll see what it cost them but this looking like a good upgrade for the Pack.

    • bdpecore

      Cook has never produced anywhere near the level Bennett has. Good signing and I’m sure Ted got him at a good price.

    • Thronson5

      Cook didn’t even have that great of a year. He was just clutch down the stretch and in the playoffs. Bennett is a beast and way better than Cook. Cook has always had high upside and there was always high expectation from him that he’s never lived up to. The Packers are instantly better with Bennett and he gives Rodgers a big target for the Redzone. At times last year the Packers offense didn’t look to good but with Bennett I think that’ll change. They need to turn their attention to the RB position now.

  1. bdpecore

    Great signing! I’m sure the money will be palatable since Ted doesn’t overpay in free agency.

  2. Connorsoxfan

    I read Patriots at first and got all excited about seeing how Bill was gonna throw out a couple 3 TE passing sets just for fun. Then I re-read because that wouldn’t make any sense…

  3. gopackgo

    AP please mack Vikings fan’s se him in green and gold as payback for Favre in purple.

  4. CamFrost

    Where’s all the Ted Thompson haters now? Guy has had a contender almost every year he’s been here. Relax ppl.

    • They will be back, Thompson can’t go 5 min without action before the instant gratification crowd forgets about his past success

    • Nicktone

      Oh I am still here. I will stop hating when our the secondary is fixed.

    • Shmoov

      I’m still here too. Playoffs every year isn’t enough with ARod at QB. TT is 1-3 in NFC Championship games. The 1 win is when we had a good D. We can’t even seem to sniff a serviceable D since, yet we still roll with Capers at DC and practice squad players at CB. The clock is ticking and it’s almost midnight.

      • CamFrost

        You can’t just snap your fingers and get every position filled to everyone’s satisfaction. He’s built a contender for almost a decade, but complain when TT isn’t being extremely active. Be happy your team is this good for this long.

        • bdpecore

          The thing is most fans think Ted isn’t talking to players and agents behind closed doors just because our front office is really good at not leaking rumors. No one heard anything about Bennett prior to the signing. I know he’s doing his due diligence and working hard to find players to fill needs but isn’t willing to pay more than fair market value for anyone including to resign our own.

  5. Packnats

    Hopefully this will cut down on the whining from these bandwagon Packer fans for a bit. It’s been a great run for Green Bay for the better part of three decades but you’d think we were the freaking Browns the way some of these fools talk. Love this signing. When Cook was healthy he made our offense run so much better and Martellus is better than Cook. Looking forward to another great season!

    • bdpecore

      I agree people were getting all worked up before they have even caught a glimpse of the final product. This is a huge upgrade offensively and it sounds like he will be in GB for multiple seasons. Now we need to sign a couple veteran DBs and resign Lang and Lacy. Then we should be sitting pretty well come the draft.

    • hill
      hill

      Hopefully this comment will cut down on the all-criticism-no-solution know-it-all sideline commentators who know very little to nothing about how the Packers Super Bowl aspirations keep getting cut short because of a lack of SOME veteran depth on the roster.

      • GoPackGo12

        I’m not hating on TT at all. Love the signing as long as it’s under or around 8MM annually. However I will say again. We can add all the offensive weapons we want but if we are giving up 35 a game because we can’t stop anyone it won’t matter. Great job by Thompson filling a major hole and keeping Rodgers happy but just please don’t forget about the defensive side of the ball

      • bdpecore

        Hightower is going to get $10MM per which is a lot for a ILB. I think we would be much better served spending that money on a CB or another edge rusher. Even resigning Lang and Lacy would be more beneficial imo.

        • gopackgo

          Lacy is overweight and slow the good corners are gone but they might sign house back at a cheep price if you sign Hightower and resign Lang you can draft CB,RB or tack a shot on AP at RB

            • gopackgo

              Martinez, Ryan,Thomas are OK but they need a upgrade because your middle Linebacker helps stop the run and a lows you’re CB to focus more on the pass.

            • biasisrelitive

              agreed we have plenty of cheap death inside another pass-rusher would be nice but a inside linebacker it isn’t needed

          • bdpecore

            For good CBs rumor has it the Rams are listening to offers for Trumaine Johnson. Otherwise you could take a cheap one year flyer on a guy like Darrelle Revis while still signing Davon House for veteran depth. Otherwise draft a couple corners in the first 4 rounds and look to sign another S like Corey Graham or Darius Byrd.

  6. sportsfan101

    Gotta love him taking less $$ in FA then the patriots offered him last year to go to, while gb is a great team nothing compared to the pats. Looks like money screwed him in the end took less and is on a lesser team, ESP with love patriots have recently made.

  7. PACFAN

    Great signing! Now don’t stop = bring home some CB OL RB Talent. We need a lot of help!

    • GoPackGo12

      You’re kidding yourself if you think he won’t be a top TE heath permitting with Rodgers throwing him the ball

    • Dobber

      Bennett’s best seasons came in Chicago with guys like Jay Cutler and Josh McCown throwing to him…neither of them are going to hear their names called for Canton.

  8. Connorsoxfan

    What this is literally what the Pats are paying Allen. They could’ve waited a couple days and resigned Bennett instead. And it would’ve saved one of their best remaining draft picks.

  9. bts76

    Great player. But he’s crazy as hell, and there is a reason he’s played for Cowboys, Giants, Bears, Patriots and now Packers. He is a locker room problem and coaches have a hard time getting him to focus in practice –

    • Ortsac Nilrats

      Agreed. For all the “great signing” comments on here. Just wait for the first game he gets three targets and starts chirping. Rodgers spreads the ball around so much that it surely will happen.

      • bdpecore

        Bennett had 55 receptions last season (3.43/gm) with the majority coming after Gronk went down and you didn’t hear a peep out of him. Richard Rodgers had 60 rec in 2015 and he and Cook combined for the same number last season. I don’t think Bennett will be an issue in GB.

    • bdpecore

      What has he done which gives you the impression he is a bad locker room guy?

      • Ortsac Nilrats

        link to google.com. Or how about 5 teams in 9 years. Or his previous distractions on YouTube and Twitter. This is not a guy that can just keep his mouth shut and play. And I guarantee if the Packers start struggling or he doesn’t get targeted in a game he will publicly display his dismay.

        • bdpecore

          Glad to know you can predict the future and guarantee this will happen. I’m not worried about him not being targeted unless he simply cannot get open for an entire game. That is the benefit of having the best QB in the league throwing you the ball. If you can get open he will find you. And so what if he is a bit vocal. Did you ever think maybe the guy is just a true competitor and doesn’t like to lose? I still have yet to hear any reports of him being a distraction within the locker room or a detriment to his teammates. Just a vocal guy before and after games who the provides the media with some entertaining and often interesting quotes.

        • bdpecore

          As for the 5 teams in 9 years he struggled when younger and was forced to sign a one year “prove it” deal with the Giants. This resulted in a big 4 year contract with the Bears. He was traded to NE for cap space and not resigned because they have Gronk coming back and traded for Allen. He has yet to be cut or traded for any disciplinary, locker room or off the field issues. All in all, if he stays in GB for all 3 years it will be 5 teams in 12 years which isn’t terrible.

  10. Denny

    Signing Bennett! — Packers just signed a MAJOR locker room problem and a practice slacker! Cook could do more if used more.Rogers will support any deal since HE is also looking for a contract “ADJUSTMENT” ! TT needs to be fired – DEFENSIVE secondary will not be fixed with just ONE player,(HOUSE?). It will not also be fixed drafting developmental players.HYDE? let go for HOUSE — is dumb. Have both would have been tremendous secondary for future adversity, and stopping players like Julio Jones!!!!!

  11. DENNY

    THANKS for all the support for GB packer G. Mgr.T. Thompson!!!!! I’m sure the minority 0f Packer fans love it. I am positive the non- packer fans and teams that beat the Pack love It! During the TT 12 year tenure he has used the FA type of player acquisition 19 times. UNRESTRICTED FA acquisition has gotten Howard – Woodson -White-Pickett-Dotson. The Favre – White acquisition led to a SB victory! The Woodson acquisition led to a SB victory! The Howard – Picket- Dotson Acquisition led to making the play-offs and/or homefield advantage, and Super Bowls! Over the TT 12 years the Pack has earned/been awarded 8 to 15 draft picks through the rounds. The pack uses every one of them for “future development”, immediate playing time etc.MOST are a bust! OH! – by the way we also are successful in “development’ (HYDE), and then let other teams use the investment (HYDE). TT contradicts his own ego driven philosophy of “…best on the Draft Board” philosophy! There are more busts than successes in the TT narrow stubborn acquisition philosophy getting players. The Falcons went all out to make the SB – but lost! They humiliated our packers! For years since Woodson left, and before, the def. secondary has been terrible when playing good teams with tall, fast receivers. IE: Falcons Julio Jones! We face the same def. secondary needs this year. (Even worse since letting HYDE go). Again TT and his team put their heads in the sand and don’t look at the FA market for some EXPERIENCED IMMEDIATE help.OH! By the way GB has close to $4o+ million in cap space to get FA players and sign and draft players!! GoPackGo – Begone TT – Begone – PLEASE!

    • bdpecore

      Just curious who you would have spent their $40MM in cap space on. He has significantly upgraded a position we have clearly been lacking in for years by signing 2 of the top 4 free agent TEs along with the #1 rated FA pass rusher and still has about $30MM in cap space available to resign Lang, Lacy and sign some defensive veterans (i.e. CB, S, ILB, OLB). Not sure what more you want from him at this point when he obviously is not done adding FA players to the roster.

    • bdpecore

      As for not having a CB who can cover tall fast receivers, what do you think Shields did prior to getting injured and later cut? He was that guy and until his most recent concussion. Most teams can’t afford to keep two #1 caliber CBs once their rookie deals are up. It’s just not feasible.

    • JohnDoughman

      I think you’re missing the point of why a player is a free agent in the first place. There’s one of two reasons why a team decides to let their own player walk. 1) They price themselves out of the organization. 2) There is an issue with the player that the other 31 teams either do not know about, or have more willingness to deal with whatever the issue is (age, injury, off-field issues, etc.). So no, TT does not need to go out and sign all of the best players in FA. FA’s are typically paid on past performances, which is why TT let’s older player walk when they want too much money.

  12. RonelleScharber

    He better hurry up and re-sign your boys cus they coming to seattle and have a little talk with a REAL gm who might convince them both that coming to seattle is all we need to make a legit run next year, the pack has the smartest most scrambling QB in the league but he needs help while he’s not on the field. he cant win every game on his own (just half of them lol that man is a freak). TT give the pack a little more defense! omg that would scare the rest of the nfl! jeez dude.

  13. Denny

    I am being reprimanded for “Begone -TT- Begone”. Plus I do understand free agency pitfalls and values.Drafting a player, paying for his training/learning curve,and letting him go because the organization and money has made him good/great is ridiculous! (HYDE) They get to a level, that we want him to get to, don’t agree with paying him, so kick him down the road. Then some other team pays for what
    we could have had! Thus some other team benefits from the Packer investment and we go back to the draft, and do the same thing all over again! TT has done that for 12 years! I understand the business aspect. The FA tool allows the Pack to do what other teams do to us and fill IMMEDIATE needs – Not 1/3 years down the road through focusing on a gamble from the draft!! Oh yeah —- getting rid of them when, finally, they are capable of playing at a level the Pack drafted for. Also keep the FA veterans player/coach (WOODSON) to help the draftees! TT does not want to pay the drafted player when they are starting to produce and doesn’t want to pay the FA money to fill the gap. History has shown those two $ numbers are Not that far apart!!! Can’t have it both ways and be a play off team, or Super Bowl contender. “BEGONE-TT-BEGONE !!!!

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