If the recent release of Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode teaches us anything, it’s that no one is safe. And according to Coach Jason Garrett, there might still be some big names on the chopping block. But is one of those names Martellus Bennett?
Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the former Texas A&M tight end has clearly not lived up to his potential. Limited by a combination of injury, mental lapses, and perceived laziness (see Hard Knocks), Bennett has struggled with consistency his entire career.
In the past three seasons. he’s had 68 receptions as Jason Witten’s primary backup. But Martellus has not scored a touchdown since 2008.
Also, take into account Martellus’ numerous off the field antics. He was fined $22,000 for making an explicit rap video and posting it to Youtube. There were nude photos of him that made there way onto the web. And earlier this year, Martellus went on ESPN Radio and all but said that Jon Kitna should be the Cowboy’s starting QB instead of Tony Romo.
The aforementioned Andre Gurode got “pushed” during training camp by 2nd year player, Phil Costa. And it led to his straight-out release. Bennett could also be pushed out considering he has viable competition at his position. Tight End John Phillips impressed a lot of people during the preseason last year prior to his season ending injury. And although Phillips doesn’t have Bennett’s size or athleticism, he is consistent and reliable. Phillips is a more than capable back up for Jason Witten.
Salary-wise, Bennett is in the last year of a 4yr/$2.5 million contract. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Currently, Martellus is injured with a high-ankle sprain that occurred during last week’s preseason game against the Vikings. He’s expected to be out 2-4 weeks, missing the season opener.
I have read a ton of post comments recently from fans like you saying we should end the Martellus Bennett experiment. I tend to agree with them. But what do you think?
Editor’s note: Added 5:31am, September 1, 2011: As a response to a comment left on this story questioning why Martellus Bennett was being labeled as injury prone, I am posting the results of my research concerning his past injuries:
Although deciding if a player is injury prone is slightly subjective, Bennett has suffered his share of them. Here’s a few examples: There are the smaller injury reports such as the minor ankle injury that limited him in practices in Nov. ’08. Or the minor knee injury he had to rehab through in August of ’09. But the more relevant injuries include: He missed two regular season games in December of 2009 due to a concussion after receiving a blow to the chin in a game against the Giants. He missed several weeks of the preseason in July of 2010 due to a major left ankle injury he suffered while working out on his own in the off-season. He was slowed throughout the regular season due to this injury, therefore he was labeled less than 100% going into some games. Then on Oct. ’10, Bennett was placed in a walking boot when he injured his right ankle. This preseason, Bennett missed the first pre-season game due to a hamstring injury. Now, Martellus is out 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain. I can see how you can make the argument MB hasn’t missed many games when they counted. But being labeled injury prone is a perception that is not limited to just the regular season.