The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / New England Patriots Free Agent Player Profile: Martellus Bennett

New England Patriots Free Agent Player Profile: Martellus Bennett

Martellus Bennett!
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett (88) catches a pass against Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal (22) during the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Martellus Bennett, otherwise known as Martysaurus Rex, proved to be a great offseason acquisition. After Rob Gronkowski went down with a back injury, Bennett proved vital to an offense that relies on a capable tight end. Here is a full breakdown of his player profile, including his strengths and weaknesses, his projected market and likelihood that he will be re-signed by the Patriots.

2016 Stats (including playoffs): ​19 games played, 66 catches, 799 yards, 7 touchdowns

PFF Rating: ​Ranked 10th best tight end

Age: ​Will be 30 years-old when the 2017 season begins

Strengths:​ Martellus Bennett is a poor man’s Rob Gronkowski, which is no slight at all. He is a willing blocker, and was effective early in the year when he was healthy, and is a very good pass catcher.

Bennett, earlier in the season, was a terrific run blocker. He really uses his massive frame to his advantage, and he has solid technique, as well.

Bennett also has excellent hands, only dropping two passes all season long, and never fumbling once.

For the first time in a long time, Bennett was a hard worker, and it seemed the ‘Patriot Way’ really influenced him. He was willing to play through bone chips in his ankle, and was always willing to block

Weaknesses:​ For all he did right this year in New England, Bennett has a history of not cooperating with teammates, coaches and even the front office/ownership.

Bennett seems to be in the Randy Moss mold. He will play hard when he needs to get paid, but when he does get paid, he does not work as hard.

He is also a spotty route runner, especially over the middle. The receivers in the Patriots’ offense must have high football IQ, and be able to read whether the defense is in man or zone. Based on the coverage, the receivers and Tom Brady must always be in sync.

Projected Contract: ​3 years, $25 million, $15 million guaranteed

Likelihood of Bennett Re-signing:​ 2/10

Bottom Line: ​When the deal was first made last offseason, my understanding of the reason for this deal was that the tight end draft and free agent class were weak, and they wanted depth behind the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski.

Since this year’s tight end draft and free agent class is really deep, I do not expect the Patriots to re-sign Martellus Bennett, considering he is looking to get paid for what possibly could be his last big money NFL contract’s Ian Rapoport reported that the big tight end will test free agency, and that it is a ‘real possibility’ he leaves New England, which was expected. It felt like a rental when the deal first happened, and it looks more like it truly was a rental with free agency right around the corner.

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