In the midst of a disappointing season, Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett says he’s got a short time left in his NFL career.
Any realistic hopes at a division title and a Super Bowl run for the Green Bay Packers this year went down with Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone in Week 6. Tight end Martellus Bennett has had a disappointing season after signing a three-year deal with the Packers during the offseason, with just 24 catches for 233 yards and zero touchdowns while playing all seven games to this point
Bennett is a bit of a quirky, eccentric person, with interests outside of football that only require a perusal of his Twitter feed to see. He doesn’t need football to find meaning in his life, and a bye week like the Packers are on this week can surely bring some reflection.
On Saturday night, Bennett took to Instagram to make a significant announcement about his future.
Bennett chose his words very carefully: “I’m pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career.”
He may see 10 seasons as being enough, especially given the shorter than the average length of NFL careers and the evidence that has come to light about concussions and their long-term effects. But this is also hardly a concrete, formal announcement, and Bennett will surely have a cavalcade of reporters at his locker next week asking him about it. And the timing is interesting, with the trade deadline approaching.
Bennett was drafted by Dallas in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft (No. 61 overall) out of Texas A&M. After four underachieving seasons with the Cowboys, he spent time with the New York Giants (2012), Chicago Bears (2013-2015) and New England Patriots (2016) before signing with the Packers. At this point he has 427 receptions for his career, which is ninth among active tight ends.
Bennett won a Super Bowl with the Patriots last year, so he doesn’t have to keep playing purely to chase a ring. But if he’s serious and follows through, these last nine games (technically) of the 2017 season will be Bennett’s last as an active NFL tight end.