With Aaron Rodgers on the way out of town, and Jordan Love ready to take over, the Packers know that they need to surround their young quarterback with as many weapons as possible.
Christian Watson looks like a star in the making, and Romeo Doubs was a revelation as a Day 3 pick last year, but they’re both coming off their rookie season… and they’re the most experience wide receivers the Packers have.
“We just knew we needed to get some veteran help,” Matt LaFleur said in a conference call with pool reporters this morning. “It’s a young man’s game, but there’s no substitute for experience, and Martellus Bennett has experience.”
The cupboard had bare at tight end in Green Bay. After declining to re-sign incumbent starter Robert Tonyan and blocking meme legend Marcedes Lewis, there was a lot of chatter about the Packers taking a tight end in the NFL Draft later this month, but Matt LaFleur laid that to rest. “With Martellus Bennett on the team, there is just no reason to draft a wide receiver. I mean, there’s not way he’s not going to start every game for us.”
I later called Packers GM Brian Gutekunst directly to get his thought process. “It’s simple,” he said, “with Aaron Rodgers out of the way, we can finally be the team we were meant to be: the team built around every Packers fan’s favorite tight end, Martellus Bennett.”
Gutekunst went on to explain, “Aaron Rodgers never bought in to the LaFleur offense. Everyone on Twitter could plainly see that. Martellus Bennett, though? He’s a team player. He knows this isn’t all about him. The consummate teammate, he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him with no complaint.”
The decision has actually been in the works for a while, according to Gutekunst. “We were actually going to trade Jordan Love, ride out the next few years paying Aaron Rodger whatever the hell he wants, sign his old buddies, and then possibly just fold the franchise whenever he decided to retire. There really was no hope for the future… until Martellus Bennett called. That’s when we starting trying to trade Rodgers. You just have to do whatever you can to get a guy like Martellus Bennett. His decision to come out of retirement and play for the Packers has just been an explosion of hope for the future. As anyone will tell you, he’s truly a beacon of joy, especially for the fans.”
Bennett released a statement through his agent where he confirmed the sentiment: “Green Bay is just such a special place in the NFL. The history, the legacy, but more than anything, the fans. I love every one of them more than my own children. I would never block any of them on social media.” Of course, with a player as old a s Bennett, who just turned 36 in March, health can be an issue.
Luckily, Packers Head Physician Pat McKenzie gave him a thorough physical. “He passed with flying colors,” the esteemed Dr. McKenzie said, giving two vigorous thumbs up. “Absolutely no issues with his health at all. If anything is bothering him, he didn’t tell us. I’d be shocked if he claimed he had a terrible injury, but then quit to go to another team and finish up the season playing there. No, that won’t happen – he’s totally healthy.”
With that hurdle cleared, the signing of Bennett is guaranteed to launch the Packers to a deep playoff run. The Vegas book keepers saw the Packers go from 50-1 odds to win the Super Bowl to 3-2 odds, best in the league, in a matter of hours.
“It’s pretty unbelievable right?” LaFleur said with a child-like grin.
It may seem unbelievable, but it also seems like the Packers make a move like this every year around this time.
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