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What are Martellus Bennett's options now that he's been released and could he return to New England?

Ryan Hannable
November 08, 2017 - 6:24 pm

FOXBORO -- After the news broke of Martellus Bennett being released by the Packers on Wednesday, the first thought among Patriots fans was whether or not he could return to New England.

The Patriots offense would certainly welcome him back with Dwayne Allen not having the best of years as a second tight end, and Bennett proving he can do well in the offense with his play last season.

So, what's next for Bennett now that he's been released? Well, it's complicated.

Bennett was released with the “failure to disclose a medical condition designation” tag. The tight end signed a three-year, $21 million deal with Green Bay this offseason. Now that he's been released, he needs to pass through waivers as it is past the trade deadline. If a team claims him off waivers, it would assume his current contract. The team could get out of it by cutting him before the start of the next league year. If he clears waivers, he would become a free agent and could sign with any other team beginning Thursday at 4 p.m. That team would then negotiate a new contract with him.

How could he return to New England?

With his current contract, it's hard to say a team would want to claim him, so he likely will pass through waivers. Considering all the injuries he's dealt with over the years, and already saying he is likely to retire after the year, Bennett could just call it a career now.

If he does play out the year, he would likely only sign with a contending team, so the Patriots would have a good, if not the best, chance of convincing him to sign.

We give Bennett about a 20 percent chance of returning to New England, as it would seem likely he's ready to call it a career.

This post was updated to reflect Bennett's deal if he were to be clamed off waivers.

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