By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — A year ago, Martellus Bennett retired from the NFL. Yet on the day that Jason Witten announced that he’s coming out of retirement, the veteran tight end may be feeling a similar change of heart.
Now, it can never be fully known when Bennett is being serious or when he is goofing, but he posted a video on Twitter on Thursday in which be pleaded with the Patriots — specifically Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski — to bring him back for 2019.
“I heard this is the year of the comeback,” a sweaty Bennett said in a selfie video from the gym. “‘Sup Patriots? Yo, Bill, Tom, holla at ya boy. You already know what’s up.”
At that point, Bennett began to plea not just for his own case but for Gronkowski to put off retirement for another year.
“Yo, Gronk, hold on. Hold on, Gronk! Hold on, Gronk! Your boy’s on the way, Gronk! Hold on, Gronk! Your boy’s on the way, Gronk! Put the Robin signal in the air, Batman. Let’s go! Put the Robin signal in the air. Robin’s coming back, Batman!”
Bennett sure looked excited at the idea of rejoining the Patriots, with whom he spent two separate stints and won a Super Bowl in 2016. But Bennett is also Bennett, so a Twitter video shouldn’t qualify as any sort of official declaration of a comeback.
But the tight end wasn’t solely focused on the Patriots. He tweeted at the Cowboys, the team that initially drafted him, and said he’d be willing to be Witten’s backup, too.
A fan responded by telling Bennett that he’d be disappointed if a comeback was for any team other than the Patriots.
Bennett responded quickly, saying, “Same. Lol.” He posted the video message to New England a few minutes later.
Right in the middle of all of that? This tweet:
Seems like a pretty straightforward announcement of the trolling.
But still — is he serious, or is he just having a good time on the internet? The latter is more probable. But it’s the NFL offseason. You never know. Maybe he’s just afraid to put himself out there, and risk the emotional sting of being rejected. We’ve all been there.
Bennett retired after the 2017 season, a year during which he left the Packers midseason under suspicious circumstances and then rejoined the Patriots. That second stint with New England ended due to injury after just two games, though.
The prior season, in 2016, Bennett caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns for the Patriots in the regular season, playing a significant role for an offense that only got eight healthy games from Gronkowski. In three playoff games that year, Bennett caught 11 passes for 98 yards, including five receptions for 62 yards (plus the drawing of a 13-yard pass interference penalty to set up the game-winning touchdown in his hometown) in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons.