Unrestricted free-agent tight end Martellus Bennett has agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers.
The outspoken pass-catcher is coming off of a 55-reception, 701-yard and seven-touchdown season with the New England Patriots. While his full-body of work in New England was somewhat inconsistent as the Patriots love to spread the ball around, he played through injuries and was dependable as a pass catcher and blocker.
The high-octane Green Bay offense has craved a rock-star tight end with Bennett’s type of talents in recent years. And now they have him.
Bennett should immediately slide into the starting lineup, replacing free-agent Jared Cook. Cook, who is not expected to re-sign, tag-teamed starting duties with Richard Rodgers (30-271-2) last year and played in just 10 games. While Cook posted 30 receptions for 377 yards and a score, it’s tough to use his or Rodgers’ production as a benchmark for Bennett’s upside. Unlike the oft-injured Cook, Bennett is generally pretty durable and has played in all 16 games in four of the past five seasons.
Capable of being an every-down tight end, Bennett and his 6-foot-6, 275-pound frame make him a match-up nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs. He can shield defenders well with his body in the short passing game and has the wheels to turn his routes up-field for big gains. He averaged 12.7 yards-per-catch a year ago – second best in his career and tops since his rookie season in ’08.
This is also the fourth time he’s changed teams. In each of the previous zip-code swaps, Bennett had no less than 55 receptions with his new squad. In other words: He adapts quickly to new offenses, quarterbacks and playbooks. Winner!
Fantasy football players should rely on Bennett as a midrange TE1 in all formats. He’ll see a little extra bump in PPR flavors. His numbers could be somewhat of a roller coaster in Green Bay, too, as Rodgers, like Tom Brady, is no stranger to spreading the wealth among his receiving targets. The good news for Rodgers is he hasn’t played with a tight end as sound as Bennett before and Bennett won’t notice much of a change in quarterback play by downgrading from Brady to Rodgers.