packers and martellus bennett

Releasing Martellus Bennett: What the Packers Could’ve Done Better

A recent win against the Bears has us Green Bay Packers fans feeling a little more comfortable and a little less terrified as to where this season is going. We had been dealing with a bit of a losing streak for a hot minute there, and though that many losses in a row is not uncommon in NFL football, it is uncommon in NFL Packers football. 

Martellus Bennett

In light of all of the drama and commotion regarding the Packers this season, how about that Martellus Bennett? It just doesn’t get much more dramatic than that. Here’s a free agent who was playing with the New England Patriots last year, came and signed a twenty-one million dollar contract with the Packers for three years, and then bailed in his first year. Man, if that’s not a low blow then I don’t know what is.

It all comes down to this whole shoulder scapegoat. Here is what Martellus Bennett had to say:

  • “The Packers examined my shoulder on my visit March 10 and cleared it…. Every week we do a body evaluation sheet in the weight and pretty much every week I circled my shoulder. I just kept playing but it got worse.”

But other plays say differently. They say they didn’t even know about his shoulder until Tuesday of the bye week. They say that Martellus Bennett is using the shoulder as a scapegoat for a good excuse to duck on out of his contract, though it may cost him some of his signing bonus. 

Green Bay Packers

So what could have the Packers done differently? If we are going to be honest here and make sure we look at what could have been done differently on both sides, we can see responsibility on both ends.

It’s the view of this blogger that the issue was with the relationship between the Packers’ doctor and Martellus Bennett. Apparently, Martellus Bennett did not “get along” with the doctor, criticizing him for pushing Bennett to play when Bennett supposedly had this terrible shoulder injury. 

I’m not saying that Dr. Pat McKenzie is in the wrong here, but it would not have hurt for there to have been more open disclosure of what was really going on with this guy’s shoulder. Realistically, it looks like Martellus Bennett is going to be playing for the New England Patriots again, so the whole shoulder thing was probably a hoax, but a lot of this drama could have been avoided had there been more open communication, and just more communication in general, between Dr. Pat McKenzie and Martellus Bennett. 

Most players often frown down on a team’s management trying to go after a player’s money, for any reason. But in this case, most players are in agreement with the possibility that Martellus Bennett will have to give back either 6.3 million of his signing bonus or possible 4.2 million of it (Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, in particular, have disparaged Martellus Bennett for abandoning the team when they needed him most). It’s a contestable thing and the Packers have not made an official statement regarding it, but they have another month to decide if they want to go after him or not.

Well, that sure is a lot of drama, but here’s to hoping for the Green Bay Packers to make a turn around this season and get back in the saddle like we know they can. The Packers are not a team that is normally known for having embarrassing turns of events like these, so here’s to hoping for a cleaner season going forward!

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