The Patriots released veteran tight end Martellus Bennett before the start of NFL free agency this month, the team announced Wednesday. The news, which was first reported by ESPN, comes on the same day that his brother was traded from the Seahawks to the Eagles in a major deal.
Bennett has bounced around the league since he parted ways with the Bears following the 2015 season. He had a very good 2016 season with the Patriots, recording 55 receptions for 701 yards in 16 games, which earned him a three-year, $21 million contract from the Packers.
However, his time in Green Bay didn’t last long as the team waived him in November with a failure to disclose a medical condition designation. The Patriots wasted little time picking him back up days later, then his 2017 season ended in late November due to shoulder and hamstring injuries.
At his peak with the Bears in 2014, Bennett racked up 90 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns as a key target for Jay Cutler. Last season, those numbers dipped to just 30 receptions for 286 yards with zero touchdowns as he appeared in just nine games.
The move allows the Patriots to avoid a $2 million roster bonus owed to Bennett on March 14 and saves them over $6 million in cap space, per the Boston Herald.