Martellus Bennett's second stint with the Patriots is over.
New England released the tight end on Wednesday, the team announced. He was due a $2 million bonus if he was on the roster by March 14 and the move saves the Pats $6.2 million in salary cap space. The Patriots also announced the releases of returne man Bernard Reedy and defensive end Caleb Kidder.
Bennett, who turns 31 March 10, played just two games in his second time around in Foxboro after his controversial release from the Green Bay Packers last season. He was placed on injured reserve in late November after he was signed earlier that month. In 2016, Bennett became a key target for Tom Brady in the absence of Rob Gronkowski on the Pats' run to their fifth Super Bowl title.
It was an eventful day for the Bennetts. Martellus' brother, Michael, 32, a defensive end, was traded on Wednesday by the Seattle Seahawks to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it.
I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays.
Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them.
It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.
ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick.
While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise.
Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction of the Jacksonville Jaguars taking over the AFC title from the Patriots and facing the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta in SB53 drew a response from Tom Brady on Instagram.
The NFL's official Instagram account posted a photo of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the prediction of Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys QB now the analyst on CBS' No. 1 NFL broadcast team. Here's a screenshot, complete with Brady's comment:
Appearing on the NFL Network earlier this week, Romo said rumors of a rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick are overblown. “I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years, and then they also love each other.
“I just think when you work together for 15 to 20 years, whatever it is, I think that whenever you have the success that they have, people have to come up with stuff,” Romo said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.”
Brady and the Patriots report to camp on July 26.