By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Late Wednesday afternoon, the Packers unceremoniously cut veteran tight end Martellus Bennett.
Almost instantly, the idea of Bill Belichick bringing back Bennett in a LeGarrette Blount-like fashion twinkled in the eyes of many football fans in New England.
But don’t count on that reunion taking place.
As ESPN’s Field Yates reported, Bennett was released because he failed to disclose a medical condition to the team.
That failure to disclose an injury apparently happened after Bennett posted on Instagram that he was “pretty sure” that this season will be his final year in the NFL.
To that point in the season, Bennett had played in all seven of the Packers’ games. But he didn’t play in Monday night’s game against the Lions, and he had been ruled out for this coming Sunday’s game prior to his release.
Clearly, the injury must be significant. Otherwise, the Packers wouldn’t be so quick to cut ties with Bennett, who’s fourth on the team in receptions and receiving yards, as they try to stay alive in the NFC North race during Aaron Rodgers’ absence. Prior to the injury, Bennett was on pace to catch 55 passes for 534 yards, which would generally be in line with his production over the past two seasons. (He averaged 54 receptions and 570 yards in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.)
Plus, the sketchy circumstances under which Bennett’s time in Green Bay came to an end make a Patriots reunion seem unlikely.
With Dwayne Allen still sitting at zero catches on the season, the Patriots might benefit greatly from a healthy tight end who could give Rob Gronkowski a breather from time to time. Considering the 6-foot-6 Bennett filled in excellently for the injured Gronkowski last year and helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl, he seems like the perfect fit.
But with the injury, the failure to disclose said injury, the requirement to pass through waivers, and the retirement thoughts, it doesn’t feel like this will be the most recent case of Belichick bringing back an old friend.