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Patriots claim tight end Martellus Bennett off waivers

  • Martellus Bennett celebrates a touchdown for the Patriots against the Browns last year. New England picked up the tight end off waivers Thursday. AP file



AP Sports Writer
Thursday, November 09, 2017

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots claimed tight end Martellus Bennett off waivers on Thursday, a day after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers for “failing to disclose a physical condition.”

He didn’t play in the Packers’ 30-17 loss on Monday to the Detroit Lions after being listed as doubtful for the game.

The 30-year-old then sat out practice Wednesday and was listed as having a shoulder injury as Green Bay began preparations for its game Sunday at Chicago.

Now, if he passes a physical, he will be reunited with the team he won a Super Bowl with last season.

The Patriots face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night.

“Martellus with the Patriots, it just seems natural to me,” Von Miller said. “It seems natural. It’s a perfect fit. He was perfect for them last year, and they won a Super Bowl with him last year. So, it’s a perfect fit.”

Bennett signed with the Packers as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, securing a three-year, $21 million contract that included a $6.3 million signing bonus. He has started seven games this season, with 24 catches for 233 yards.

But it’s been a huge drop-off from his output with the Patriots last season.

Bennett was traded by Chicago to New England prior to the 2016 season and became one of quarterback Tom Brady’s main targets when Rob Gronkowski was sidelined for the season after eight games following a back injury. Bennett caught 55 passes for 701 yards and had a career-high seven touchdowns on his way to earning a Super Bowl ring.

The only question is if Bennett still has a desire to play anymore.

During the Packers’ bye week he indicated on an Instagram post that he would likely retire after this season.

“After conversations with my family I’m pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career,” he wrote. “To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you.”

Gronkowski has been healthy and more productive this season, catching 34 passes for 509 yards with five touchdowns.

But offseason tight end acquisition Dwayne Allen has underwhelmed, and has yet to catch a pass this season. Third-string tight end Jacob Hollister has just three catches for 37 yards.

Note: The Patriots released defensive lineman Geneo Grissom.