Welcome to FTW Explains, a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world. You may have seen a lot of talk about the feud brewing between Martellus Bennett and the Packers, who cut the mercurial tight end last week before the Patriots picked him up. So how did this all get started? We’re here to explain…
Why did the Packers cut Bennett?
Green Bay parted ways with Bennett, claiming that the tight end, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the team in the offseason, failed to disclose his shoulder was badly injured. Bennett says the Packers knew his shoulder was hurt.
The Packers examined my shoulder on my visit March 10 and cleared it. They even gave me an xray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the cowboys so I asked to have it checked and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are…
What did the Packers gain from cutting him?
Well, in addition to getting rid of a distraction in the locker room, they can now try to get about $4.2 million of the guaranteed money it gave Bennett back if the league decides that Bennett did, in fact, fail to disclose his injury before signing with Green Bay.
How is Bennett taking this?
He’s fighting back. In that Instagram post, he claimed Packers team doctor Patrick McKenzie tried to convince him to play through the pain rather than seeking surgery.
They tried to [expletive] over me. Dr. McKenzie trying to cover his own ass. After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery.
They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn’t where it is now at the beginning of the season. I [expletive] it up playing for the Packers
Dr. McKenzie didn’t make feel safe and was pushing to play which I thought was weird. Not that he was trying to get me to play thru it but the way he was saying things. I didn’t trust him. So I got 3 other opinions from doctors who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some [expletive] excuse. Failure disclose.
Has McKenzie or the Packers responded to Bennett’s accusations?
Not officially, but some current and former members of the team have taken up for McKenzie, including Aaron Rodgers.
Former Packers receiver Tom Crabtree called out Bennett and his new team during the Patriots-Broncos game on Sunday night…
Wait, if Bennett is hurt, how is he playing with the Patriots?
Bennett explained after the game, via the Boston Herald…
“It’s not about, ‘Could you play?’ It’s, ‘Should you play?’ It was one of those things,” Bennett said. “Right now, I’m just like, (expletive) it. At first, I told my agent to tell no teams to claim me because I was still trying to get the surgery. So when Bill (Belichick) called and said they claimed me, I was like, ‘No (expletive) way.'”
Soem have speculated that playing for a contender rather than a team that doesn’t stand much of a chance without Rodgers in the lineup could also be a factor.
So what’s next?
The Packers have a month to decide if they want to try to recoup some of the money they gave Bennett. In order to get the money back, Green Bay would have to prove that Bennett’s injury, a torn rotator cuff, occurred before he signed his contract and that the team was not aware of it.
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