BOSTON (CBS) — Martellus Bennett’s second go-round with the Patriots was short-lived.
The Patriots announced they released the veteran tight end Wednesday afternoon.
Bennett, who turns 31 years old this week, was due a $2 million roster bonus on March 14, so a decision had to be made before then. He was also due to count for more than $6 million against the salary cap.
He was claimed off waivers last year by the Patriots after the Packers released him amid a dispute about an injury. Bennett ended up playing just two games for the Patriots in 2017 before hamstring and shoulder injuries sent him to injured reserve. Bennett had been with the Patriots in 2016, helping the team win a Super Bowl, before signing with the Packers as a free agent.
Bennett had openly contemplated retirement last season, but a report surfaced last week which said he wanted to continue his playing career.
Bennett’s older brother, Michael, was traded from Seattle to Philadelphia earlier on Wednesday.
The release of Bennett may signal that the Patriots believe that Rob Gronkowski — who’s also been publicly contemplating retirement — will return next season. The Patriots currently have Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, and Jacob Hollister on the tight end depth chart.