This is highly irregular, Ted.
So the silver fox woke up and got himself a tight end the hard way. Martellus Bennett is now a Green Bay Packer.
I wanted Martellus Bennett over Jermichael Finley when he came out of college in 2008. The Cowboys snatched him up at the end of the second and Packers took Finley at the end of the third. After a rookie year full of dropped passes and complaining about his quarterback, Finley became productive (and people started using that God awful phrase “matchup nightmare”). As his productivity increased, his on-field antics got worse (I can’t stand a me-me-me dance after a 7-yard catch on 2nd and 10 or any celebration that covers more ground than the play it’s celebrating). It made me want Bennett even more.
Little did I know.
Bennett’s antics were more off the field, like his public trashing of teammates, bizarre political rants, and yelling and swearing at fans via social media, but he also did things like body slam teammates in practice if he didn’t like what they did. That kind of stuff can be overlooked when a player is productive and a team is winning, but if a team stumbles, say to an injury-induced 4-6 start, his charm may wear off and the locker room could get infected.
Here’s the deal: he’s a really good blocker (at 6’6″ 270, he’s also an inch taller taller than Jared Cook and heavier by 20 pounds) and an amazing receiver in close quarters who owns the seam and racks up yards after the catch. Cook is a bit faster and more athletic (which makes me wonder if he was a better fit for the offense) but Bennett just punishes defenses and his underrated athleticism gives way to the nickname The Black Unicorn.
We know how hard he is to defend based on his play against the Packers. The stats weren’t always gaudy, but he was a tough cover.
Now he’s on our side and has already changed his tune on Aaron Rodgers, who he hated before, but loves now that they’re teammates (which is understandable) – the two have already made up on social media. Let’s hope he keeps that relationship, and the relationship with all his new teammates, warm and fuzzy.
Let’s also hope it’s a sign of things to come for Ted Thompson. Since this signing basically wipes out any chance of a comp pick from the Hyde defection, let’s see if we can get some more wise investments this offseason (without going overboard – this isn’t Washington, after all).