Martellus Bennett trying to make a cartoon with Chance the Rapper

Martellus Bennett trying to make a cartoon with Chance the Rapper

HOUSTON -- When Martellus Bennett spoke Thursday about the effect of someone bringing a light change of pace to long-standing norms, he wasn’t talking about the quote-machine persona he’s brought to a Patriots organization known for sticking to the script. He was talking about his hat. 


Bennett, as he has on multiple occasions this season, was wearing a “3” hat, representing Chance the Rapper’s third mixtape, the Grammy-nominated “Coloring Book.”

“I’ve loved Chance for a long time,” Bennett said. “I’ve been listening to [him since]…”

Then he broke into song.

“Cigarettes on cigarettes, my mama think I stank,
I got burn holes in my hoodies, all my homies think it's dank,
I miss my cocoa butter kisses”

As it turns out, the Patriots tight end, who lives in Chance’s hometown of Chicago, is friends with the ever-popular musician. Their daughters have playdates. Bennett is trying to get Chance to work with him on a cartoon project. 

“I’ve got a little friendship with Chance. Me and Chance are cool,” Bennett said. “I’m doing something right now where I’m trying to talk him into the music for a cartoon and doing one of the voices, but he’s super busy. Hopefully we can make it happen.”

It makes sense that Bennett, a children’s book author, musician and head of The Imagination Agency in addition to his day job as a pro football player, would admire Chance’s work. Not signed to a record label, Chance has shown an ability to take hard left turns in his work, most notably making a Christian album one of the most buzzed-about records in the rap genre. 

“In hip-hop, you expect the rap to be some way; like it’s a certain way you’d expect some guys to rap,” Bennett said. “Every once in a while, a guy comes in that’s an anomaly and is a little different from everybody else, and he doesn’t act like everybody. He mixes gospel in with his hip-hop. He’s got guys that sing songs about girls twerking rapping about God on his album. That kind of stuff is super cool.” 

Bennett and Julian Edelman were among those in attendance for the sold-out Magnificent Coloring World Tour at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in September. The veteran tight end says he appreciates Chance’s music because his parents can listen to it, but that’s not the only thing Bennett likes about the 23-year-old. 

“You know what’s awesome about him, though?” Bennett said. “His last name is Bennett. I don’t know if we’re related. We could be, because people think we look alike, but I don’t think that’s true."

'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

Rob Gronkowski, decked out in his finest St. Patrick's Day duds over the weekend in Nashville, reportedly tried to shed some light on his NFL future.

Of course, while Gronk was doing Gronk things, he told a Patriots fan one thing and a reporter another.

Breech is an NFL writer for His father is former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Jim Breech. And the "69ers" aren't a real team.


AFC East is starting to prepare for post-Brady life

AFC East is starting to prepare for post-Brady life

The Patriots' "direction" never really changes. They're always "going for it" because they're always one of the best teams in the league. 

The rest of the AFC East is usually in flux. The other teams range from hoping for 8-8 to trying to bottom out in hopes of a high draft pick. Yet right now, it seems the stars are aligning and that the Jets, Bills and Dolphins all have the mindset: Change things now and be ready to pounce once Brady is gone. 

The Jets traded up to No. 3 on Saturday, assuring themselves a chance at one of this draft's top quarterbacks. The Bills, with picks Nos. 12 and 22, are expected by pundits to make a similar move up. The Dolphins, fresh off cutting bait with Ndamukong Suh in an attempt at a culture change, have the 11th pick and could use it on a quarterback to either push or replace Ryan Tannehill. 

None of the three teams are close to pushing the Patriots as long as Brady's around, even with the Bills coming off a season in which they reached the playoffs. Yet there's a two-or-three-year plan on which all three teams could have designs: Get the quarterback now, build around him and be in a good situation by the time Brady is done. 

We've seen these teams try to rebuild before during the Brady Era, with only limited success. Mark Sanchez worked out better in New York than anyone could have initially expected, but that success lasted way shorter than any believers could have hoped. Now, it seems they try again. 

Over in Buffalo, the end of the Tyrod Taylor era hardly means the beginning of the Nathan Peterman era. Those two first-rounders should easily be able to get the Bills into the top five, and they've also got two second-rounders and two third-rounders. Hell, they have the pieces to get to No. 1 if Cleveland is bold enough to pass on their choice of Darnold/Rosen/Allen/Mayfield. 

The Dolphins are in the more interesting spot. Tannehill missed all of last season and he's 29. If you're six years into your career and your team still isn't totally sure if you can be one of the better QBs in the league, you probably aren't one of the better QBs in the league. At the very least, Lamar Jackson should be there at No. 11. They could also trade up. 

At the start of last season, the Patriots had far and away the two best QBs in the AFC East. Now, it stands to reason that at least two of their divisional opponents (the Jets and Bills) will come away with what they hope are franchise quarterbacks. And if any of these guys hit, the Pats will have gone from the best QB situation in the NFL to seeing some actual competition waiting for them by the time their own quarterback is done. 

Of course, all three of these teams usually suck at everything, so it shouldn't be a big deal.