Cory's Corner: The Packers won't miss Marty Bennett

The Martellus Bennett saga is confusing and disturbing. It’s bad enough that he was going to pout his way to retirement, but then he threw respected Packers team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie under the bus.  

As if the Aaron Rodgers injury wasn’t enough.

Now, the Packers have to deal with a dishonest and disgruntled employee.

The Martellus Bennett saga is confusing and disturbing. It’s bad enough that he was going to pout his way to retirement, but then he threw respected Packers team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie under the bus.

But it didn’t take long for players to flock to his defense. Even former Packers fullback John Kuhn chimed in on Twitter by saying, “In fact, I would argue that I pressured him to play me at times.”

Or how about James Jones. He said on Twitter: “100% true Dr. McKenzie will not let you play with a broken fingernail if you don’t convince him that you’re OK. I can never see him forcing somebody to play with an injury.”

The reason it’s hard to believe Bennett is because McKenzie was given the Jerry Rhea Award for the NFL’s physician of the year in 2011. McKenzie got his training from the renowned Dr. James Andrews and has built a steady reputation since.

So now that Bennett is gone, what is going to change? Other than the fact that we likely won’t see players sleeping in their lockers or try to milk cows, nothing is going to change. Since Bennett was too slow down the seam, he had no effect in the passing game and his locker room zaniness was never worth the hassle.

Looking ahead, this leaves an obvious hole in the tight end position. Lance Kendricks is signed through 2018 and Richard Rodgers becomes a free agent after this season.

You have to give Packers general manager Ted Thompson credit for dipping his toes into the free agent pool. Thompson didn’t know that Bennett was going to implode by threatening to end his career.

Other than maybe Austin Seferian-Jenkins, or an injury-riddled Tyler Eifert, the best avenue to get a franchise tight end would be through the draft. Guys like Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli or Penn State’s Mike Gesicki will likely be available in the late second to the middle of the third round.

Bennett clearly wanted to play with Aaron Rodgers — which is fine. However, it starts to get sticky when his backup is forced into action and his team vibe suddenly becomes cloudy.

And this is a prime example. Bennett was already out for Sunday’s game at Chicago because of a torn rotator cuff. However, after he practiced with New England he was suddenly listed as questionable for its game with Denver. How can you be unable to play in Green Bay but able to play in New England?

Bennett proved how hard the free agent market really is. It’s hard to gauge how much heart these guys have after signing the contract.

In the end, Green Bay did the right thing. The Packers are in the process of trying to find out who can play and who can’t. They don’t need a cancer in the locker room making the entire place feel awkward and out-of-place.

Aaron Rodgers said rebuild after last season, but this off-season’s rebuild could be one of the most important in franchise history.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (31)

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

November 11, 2017 at 06:39 am

I've been around the NFL for over 40 years.

From Paul Coffman to Ed go West young man, Jackie Harris to Mark Chmura, Keith Jackson to Bubba Franks, Jermichael Finley to Tom Crabtree.

If he was faster, Rodgers wouldn't have had to wait so long for him on the play Barr late-hit him.

You never root for injuries. They happen. I have to admit I wouldn't mind thr next ACL being Bennett now.

PS, a decent option would be Troy Nicklas. Former Irish star & high pick, he's a younger & less racist version of todays Bennett & he can be had on the cheap.
6 foot 7.

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mrtundra's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:52 am

I'll be rooting for Anthony Barr to get injured.

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Donster's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:57 am

He also has had six surgeries in four years. So that would be the reason he would be available after this season on the cheap. Not including up to now 13 receptions in 4 years. I doubt that the Cardinals are going to jump on re-signing him with his rookie contract expiring.

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Finwiz's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:48 am

He doesn't put enough physical effort in, or try hard enough running, to tear an ACL. Slow motion Pete.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 11, 2017 at 07:31 am

I really hope Bennett does not revert Teds attitude towards bringing in Veterans. Explosion s of stupidity like this one don't happen to often. If Bennett had just caught the damn football his numbers would be fine.

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Donster's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:58 am

I hope Ted isn't around to revert his attitude towards bringing in veteran players.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 11, 2017 at 04:05 pm

That works too.

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caruso81@gmail.com's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:17 am

Here's the Twitter score card. Feel free to draw your own conclusions with regards to who we can trust.

Martellus Bennett
Bill Belichick

VS

Brady Poppinga
Aaron Rodgers
Jordy Nelson
Jeff Janis
T. J. Lang
Leroy Butler
John Kuhn
Tom Crabtree
Jahri Evans
James Jones
Blake Baratz
Pepper Burress
Andrew Brandt
Bill Ferrario
JC Tretter
Damarious Randall

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Packer_Fan's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:18 am

This is good for the Pack. You don't want someone like that on the team. Nelson's reply spoke volumes. Let's move forward.

On a secondary note: If a player says he wants surgery and can't play and when released, he plays for another team right away. What gives? Why can't the NFL step in to prevent this. Somethings wrong.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 11, 2017 at 03:37 pm

Bennett attacking Pat McKenzie and the organization has prompted quite a display of unity and loyalty. Maybe it will snap the Packers out of the post-Rodgers funk they have been in.

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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:39 am

I think it is clear that Bennet claimed an injury beyond that assessed by the Packers in order not to have to earn his millions on the pitch. NE are evidence that the injury is not so debilitating. The situation damns him. His subsequent statements should make him a pariah. However, NE are ethically sketchy at best, but I will be surprised if the other owners want to encourage rewarding such behavior. He rails at inequity generally but abuses individuals with less ability to fight back. He is an advert for the rottenness in celebrity social activist advocacy.

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chaka's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:43 am

Packers should now reach out to Colt Lyerla if they are looking for a great replacement.

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Since'61's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:47 am

1. Bennett = no loss.
2. This could have been avoided by resigning Cook
3. Does it matter who plays TE if Aaron Rodgers is injured?

Time to move on.

Thanks, Since '61

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mrtundra's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:51 am

After Bennett made clear his intentions to retire after this season, the Packers said Bennett did not disclose an injury, so they cut him. Bennett makes it through waivers and gets picked up by New England and is now practicing with them. What gives? Was he really injured? Is this more NE shenanigans? I smell a rat....

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Bret Iverson's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:00 am

Bennett is a loser, period. You are all about money and you have no heart.

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Lphill's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:13 am

The real story here is that we all knew what Jared Cook was capable of and thought our needs at tight end were met , TT did not see it that way and went after Bennett instead. Very simple another bad move by Ted. My hope at the end of this season is to see Ted and Capers move on , then I will be excited for next season.

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al bundy's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:25 am

Cook wanted to be paid in money. Aka jenkins, wells, hyde, jenings, zombo, tretter. Two or three of theses guys were pro bowlers, all are starters elsewhere.

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rdent's picture

November 11, 2017 at 01:14 pm

Lphill, I agree it is time for changes. Without AR this team is Cleveland Browns north. I can't help but wonder what if any changes will be made in the offseason if they go 4-12, 5-11 the entire organization needs to be re evaluated top to bottom.

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4thand1's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:18 am

Bennett gets signed over and over, what does he bring to a locker room? To me he seems a lot worse than Kaepernick. This season is worse than any I can remember. We all had high hopes at the start and they were throw down the shitter.

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Roadrunner23's picture

November 11, 2017 at 09:21 am

This guy was all about his own agenda and never about the team. I believe he was a cancer in the locker room and I predict the whole team will now rise up and galvanize in the wake of his accusations against Dr. McKenzie and the Packers organization. I was glad to see all of the classy players such as Nelson, Rodgers, Kuhn etc. stand up for the Doc.
One thing you can always count on with the Packers is that they are one of the classiest organizations in the league and they always put player safety first.
Rise up Packers and kick some Bear Butt!!
Go Pack!!

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Markus Hall's picture

November 11, 2017 at 11:24 am

Scullyitsme I feel you. Anybody with common sense knew this was a bad free agent move. U don't give a vet all that cash in FA who has been injured a lot and inconsistent with routes and hands. All the he was a pariah and a cancer is BS! If he would of caught the the ball all his activism would of been ok. But since he played terribly he's being treated like Castro or Sadaam. We as Packer fans are blame deflecting! Start with the GM who's draft picks have been hit and miss. Then go to the DC who has either gotten stale or doesn't have the passion anymore!

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flackcatcher's picture

November 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

In the NFL, when coaches and players say "he's a different guy" that's code for something wrong with this guy. That label has stuck to Bennett no matter what team and org. he was with. There are three golden rules for players in football and other team sports. Do not act up on the field, do not show up your teammates, and above all, do not dog it during the game. Bennett broke all of them during his tenure as a Packer. On that alone, he should have released. To use the race card on the Packers team doctor to cover his own ego, as a black man, I'm beyond offended. And don't think for a second that signing with NE get's him off the hook. This rotten stink will follow him for the rest of his NFL career and beyond.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 12, 2017 at 06:39 am

There was a guy who wrote on another site that the packers were lucky to have a player with a social conscience. I'd settle for a guy who had some semblance of a moral compass.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 11, 2017 at 11:44 am

4_12
Draft a QB 1st round 2018 draft !!

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

November 11, 2017 at 03:33 pm

Pass rusher.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 12, 2017 at 06:40 am

Agreed. Alp was in there saying the same thing in 2005.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Regardless of the Bennett situation, the need for a TE was, and still is on the Ted's list for next year. Signing Bennett and Kendricks were good risks for the Packers football wise this year. More importantly, this is a shift the Packers had to make to stay as one of the elite teams in the NFL. With more and more teams going to the draft and developed route, the talent pool became more deluded for the Packers. This carries a set of risks that the Packers have for good reason (Bennett) have not wanted to deal with. It also changes the way they deal with the roster during the season, and more importantly, how they deal with their own free agents. Just a couple of things to think about going forward. Good article Cory.

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Markus Hall's picture

November 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Doug we can't go with a QB lol. Ino u trolling but seriously I would like to see a article as to what position we need to draft. I would go with Barkley from Penn State and OL. Man do we need help at every level.

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Packer_Fan's picture

November 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

So I say: Let's go beat the Bears. Let's go support Hundley to win a few more games. Let's get the defense playing together. Let's get enough wins to make the playoffs. Let's get Rodger back. Let's get to the Super Bowl and kick NE's butt. That would be a great way to finish this season and rub it into Bennett's face.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

November 11, 2017 at 03:32 pm

Draft a Tight End. Forget free agency.

I'm not against Free Agency, but I think this team is further away than a couple high-priced vets. With a new GM, high draft position, and tons of picks, this roster could turn around in a hurry.

I say clean house. Look at every veteran player on the roster and ask, "Will this player be worth real money in 2019, especially given his health struggles?" If not, seriously consider releasing them.

At Tight End, we should drop R. Rodgers after the season and draft 2 or 3 just like we did with halfbacks this year.

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JerseyAl's picture

November 12, 2017 at 06:44 am

comments are closed.

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