Patriots

Bennett: Staying in New England intriguing for off-the-field efforts

Bennett: Staying in New England intriguing for off-the-field efforts

There are advantages to playing in New England that extend beyond teaming up with Tom Brady, learning from Bill Belichick, and an annual run at a Super Bowl.

For those who have interests outside of football, spending your time in the Boston area can potentially lead to opportunities that might not be available in other NFL locales. Someone like Martellus Bennett, for example, will consider all that the city has to offer could as he contemplates his future whereabouts. 

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Bennett will turn 30 next month, and he's about to become an unrestricted free agent. This could be his last shot at a lucrative new contract, and though he was fighting through injuries for much of the 2016 campaign, he seemed to help his value by remaining on the field and helping the Patriots secure their fifth Lombardi Trophy. 

The 6-foot-7, 275-pounder could field enticing offers from tight end-needy franchises across the league, but he tweeted on Wednesday that he likes the idea of staying put. It could have a real impact on how he builds up his brand long-term, he explained. 

https://twitter.com/MartysaurusRex/status/831916215622893568

Of course, Bennett can pursue his off-the-field work in any of number of places. Landing in New York or Los Angeles wouldn't hurt in that regard. But the combination of what the Patriots offer as an organization and what the area offers his future pursuits might be the best of both worlds. 

When it comes to his next contract, Bennett could be looking at a deal similar to the one Panthers tight end Greg Olsen signed when he turned 30 -- three years, $22.5 million with $12 million guaranteed -- or the franchise tag, which is projected to come in at around $10 million.  

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

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