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Martellus Bennett last month hinted that he’s retiring. The Green Bay Packers just couldn’t wait for that to happen.
In a move that didn’t really surprise anybody, the Packers released the tight end who seemed to have never recovered from an unnamed injury. The 30-year-old signed a $21-million contract this off-season after coming off a Super Bowl championship with the Patriots. In seven games, he only recorded 233 yards from 24 passes with zero touchdowns.
Ian Rappaport of NFL Insider reported that the situation with Bennett is quite complicated. The team already paid him about $8 million this year. “The only tangible benefit to cutting him with the failure to disclose is if they argue his entire contract is void & go after his money. This isn’t over just yet.”
ESPN said the Packers can file a claim with the NFL for a grievance because Bennett failed to disclose his medical condition. The amount that the team can claim is about $4.2 million, which represents the signing bonus money owned to the player.
The other teams can still claim Bennett via waiver. If nobody will pick up his contract, the player can become a free agent although it’s more likely that he will retire from the game.
Last month, Bennett had hinted stepping away from the game after talking with his family. He said that the next eight games would be the last he would play for the NFL. “To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career,” he wrote. “These next games are for you. Thank you.”
With the Packers decision to release him, it seems Bennett won’t get the farewell tour he’s hoping for.
Now that he will have a lot of free time, Bennett can pursue other interests like his art and children’s books, as well as the adventure park he has been hinting.