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Martellus Bennett disputes Packers’ claim of failure to disclose condition

Martellus Bennett returning to the New England Patriots seems to make all the sense in the world following his release from the Green Bay Packers.

It was a surprise when the Packers released tight end Martellus Bennett. It was a big surprise when the Packers contended that he failed to disclose a medical condition.

To no surprise, Bennett disputes that he hid anything from the team.

Bennett practiced throughout the offseason and training camp, and he appeared in seven regular-season games. Only after he expressed an intention to retire following the season did his shoulder become an issue. Whether it became an issue for Bennett or the team or both is irrelevant; it wasn’t an issue before that.

Some (me) speculated that Bennett floated the idea of retirement three days before the trade deadline in the hopes that a team with a healthy starting quarterback would throw him a lifeline. Obviously, Bennett may have become disenchanted with the idea of staying in Green Bay once quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone.

Although the Packers could now try to recover some of Bennett’s signing bonus, a source with knowledge of the situation says that the issue has not yet been raised. He will now pass through waivers, which in theory could result in a team even worse than the Packers claiming his rights.

If he clears waivers, Bennett will become a free agent, able to sign with any other team.