NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart formally announced on Tuesday that the league does not have any concerns regarding New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and how he ended up back with the team. As a result, the NFL does not believe that the Patriots “did any tampering” upon acquiring Bennett off waivers from the Green Bay Packers, according to The Boston Globe.
It’s been a roller coaster ride for the veteran tight end, who is back with the team he spent a lone season with last year. In free agency, Bennett cashed in on a three-year, $21 million deal with the Packers before things turned awry. He was waived by the Packers on Wednesday after failing to disclose a medical issue and was claimed by New England the following day. Bennett, who had an injury leading into Week 10, wound up playing seven snaps during the Patriots’ win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday evening, catching three passes for 38 yards.
“At first I told my agent to tell no teams to claim me because I was still trying to get the surgery or whatever,” Bennett said on Sunday evening. “When Bill called and said that they claimed me, I was like ‘No [expletive] way.’ … We had a quick conversation, I was just like, ‘Let me think about it, I’m going to call you back.’ ”
Bennett started 12 of the 16 games in which he appeared in with New England a season ago, catching 55 passes for 701 yards and a single-season career-high seven touchdowns. After being scooped up by the Patriots, he wound up changing his mind regarding the injury and suited up despite the quick turnaround.
“I felt like I should get the surgery, but at that point, after all I’ve been through I was kind of just like, ‘All right, what the [expletive], let’s just go.’ ”