BOSTON (CBS) — Martellus Bennett was always likely to leave the New England Patriots as a free agent, but now it’s official.

Bennett bid farewell to New England and Pats fans in a pair of tweets on Wednesday night, closing a brief but hugely successful chapter of the soon-to-be-former Patriots tight end’s career. Bennett played in all 19 games for the Super Bowl-champion Patriots, setting a new career high in regular season receiving touchdowns with seven.

“Marty” said goodbye in a way that only he could, channeling Buzz Lightyear in the process:

Bennett will have no shortage of suitors when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. on Thursday. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeted on Wednesday that the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Buffalo Bills were among the teams that are “in on” Bennett, adding that the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions were also “inquiring on” tight ends. Bennett played for the Giants in 2012, making 55 catches for 626 yards and five touchdowns.

[graphiq id=”3o7HqUXala5″ title=”Martellus Bennett Career Receiving Yards and Touchdowns” width=”600″ height=”521″ url=”″ link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

Though Bennett only played one season for the Patriots, he proved invaluable to the offense both early in the season and down the stretch when they had to play without All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. Bennett also left his own imprint on the region with his larger-than-life personality, which shone through one more time with his Twitter farewell.

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