After sitting out due to a shoulder injury and being declared out for next week’s matchup against Chicago, the Packers have decided to part ways with veteran tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett was released with a “Failure to Disclose Physical Condition” designation, which is surely connected to his aforementioned shoulder injury.
The 6’6″ TE struggled to adjust to the offensive scheme in Green Bay, as in seven games he only recorded 24 receptions for 233 yards and no touchdowns, and developed an issue with drops that he never seemed to recover from. Bennett was only in Year 1 of a three-year, $21 million deal he signed back March. However, he revealed via his social media during the bye week that he intended to retire following the 2017 season.
The Packers will look to veterans Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers to serve as the top tight ends in their offense moving forward. Both Kendricks and Rodgers have starting experience in the NFL, Kendricks with the Rams and Rodgers with the Packers during the 2015 season. Kendricks’ best season came during 2012 while with the Rams when he posted 519 yards and 4 touchdowns on 42 receptions, while Richard Rodgers proved to be a redzone threat with 8 touchdowns during his time as a starter in 2015. The Packers may look to add more depth at the tight end position in the near future, quite possibly from practice squad member Emmanuel Byrd. If they decide to go the veteran route, ex-Brown Gary Barnidge is currently a free agent who had a breakout season in 2015 just two years ago with 79 receptions for 1043 yards and 9 touchdowns.