Patriots

Patriots

When Martellus Bennett signed with the Packers as a free agent this offseason, he had agreed to a three-year deal worth $21 million in a market smaller than any other he'd been before. 

Green Bay is a long way from Dallas, New York, Chicago and New England. Yet Bennett has no plans of fading into the background with his new club. Instead, the self-proclaimed "chameleon" is fitting right in with his new surroundings. 

He's milked cows. He's traipsed through manure. He's been to a local brewery. (Though he says he doesn't drink beer and only know how it tastes because Rob Gronkowski poured some on his head during the Super Bowl parade in Boston.)

And he's getting along with just about everyone.

"If I don’t like you," Bennett's quoted as saying in a recent Bleacher Report profile, "something’s probably wrong with you. I am who I am."

That's the approach Bennett took during his one season with the Patriots in 2016. He told BR's Tyler Dunne that he knew teammates viewed him as a bit of an oddball at times -- "how many NFL players are inviting you to Comic-Con or breaking down interior design with your wife?" Dunne wrote -- but he was on time for work and felt he provided the team with a spark.

"I just try to create an environment," Bennett said, "where we kick ass but we laugh after we do it. Like ‘Ha ha ha, mother******! … People can say what they want to say about me, but if I was a terrible, horrible person, I wouldn’t be in the NFL for 10 years. People say all kinds of crazy s*** to me. Twitter. In the media. People think I’m a bad teammate, but I’ve never been a bad teammate."

 

You certainly won't hear that from anyone in the Patriots locker room after Bennett shouldered the load at tight end last season despite dealing with knee and ankle issues for much of the season. Those ailments led to lapses at times, which Bennett admitted, but he performed well enough for Tom Brady to trust him in the most critical moments of the season.

Bennett caught five passes on six targets for 62 yards in Super Bowl LI, and he drew a pass-interference penalty in overtime that put the Patriots on the 2-yard line, which eventually led to James White's game-winning score.