Patriots gridiron news: Quick thoughts on Martellus Bennett

(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) /

Well, it seems Martellus Bennett wants to return to playing football in 2018 after contemplating retirement.  Shout the New England Patriots keep him or cut him?

This offseason appears to be one of continuous retirement rumors.  With linebacker David Harris announcing his retirement and tight end Rob Gronkowski still noncommittal to returning in 2018, the New England Patriots did get an answer from one of their players.

That player is Martellus Bennett.

The veteran tight end was claimed off waivers towards the end of the season and then placed on injured reserve.  In picking up Bennett, the Patriots took on the remainder of his contract that extends through the 2019 season.

Now, whether the Patriots planned on actually honoring that contract remains to be seen.  The team could release Bennett for the 2018 season once the league year officially begins.  Otherwise, the team will have to pay a $2 million roster bonus due to Bennett on March 14, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

If Martellus Bennett is actually serious about playing in 2018, the Patriots have a tough decision to make.

Quick thoughts

The reason it is tough is because the team does not know the status of Gronkowski.  If he were to return, the decision to cut Bennett would be an easy one.  With the way he left the Green Bay Packers, it would seem other teams may not be willing to pay a tight end the kind of money he may be looking for.

That of course, would enable the Patriots to get Bennett at a lower price.

If Gronkowski does retire, New England may be forced to hold onto Bennett.  Although there will be some intriguing options in free agency and the draft, Bennett knows the system and does have chemistry with Tom Brady.  Keeping him would be beneficial for those reasons, though the possibility of cutting him and re-signing him to a cheaper deal would remain possible.

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In his two games with the Patriots, he caught six passes for 53 yards, which was a third of the production he put up for the Packers in 2017.  It appears New England is the right place for Martellus Bennett if he does come back to play in 2018.  If the two sides don’t work anything out, I could see Bennett following through with retirement..

Dante Scarnecchia back in 2018

With all the questions surround the team heading into the offseason, one of those questions have been answered.

As reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, 70-year-old offensive lineman coach Dante Scarnecchia were among the coaches who returned to work last week.

Scarnecchia was a question mark following Super Bowl LII because he wouldn’t commit to returning for 2018.

Sound familiar?

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With Nate Solders’ status still up in the air, Scarnecchia’s return is great for the Patriots.  Not only does he provide stability, but he will be able to coach up some of the younger players along the offensive line and possibly Solders’ replacement.