Patriots taking another calculated risk with Martellus Bennett


Five years ago, the Patriots took a pair of calculated risks in trading for defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and receiver Chad Johnson. To get both players after the end of the 2011 lockout, the Patriots gave up, in all, a fifth-round pick in 2012 and a fifth- and sixth-round pick in 2013.

It didn’t work out with either guy.

The decision to do a deal for disgruntled Bears tight end Martellus Bennett carries with it similar risk. The cost is fairly low, with the Pats reportedly giving up a fourth-round pick and getting a sixth-rounder back, and Bennett has a relatively inexpensive salary of $5.085 million in 2016, the final year of his current contract.

But getting traded to the Patriots won’t automatically make Bennett happy, unless they Patriots also planning to trade away Rob Gronkowski. For Bennett’s contract year, he now becomes the third option at best in the passing, and maybe even the fifth or sixth, given the presence of Gronkowski, receivers Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan, and running back Dion Lewis.

Amendola, who has a $5 million salary and per-game roster bonuses worth up to $437,500, could be the odd man out — which surely would be fine by Bennett, a 29-year-old veteran who may have only one more shot at a significant contract. Bennett will need to get the ball in his hands this year. Even with Tom Brady distributing the passes, Bennett may not make a major impact in his first, and possibly only, season with the team.

Regardless of how it works out, coach Bill Belichick has the pelts on the wall to justify taking a calculated risk from time to time. Whether it’s trading away his best pass rusher or trading for a No. 2 tight end who’ll want to be No. 1 (or doing both in back-to-back days), four trophies in the case give Belichick the equity to do what most other coaches would be heavily criticized for attempting.

50 responses to “Patriots taking another calculated risk with Martellus Bennett

  1. im say this now
    there passing game will be nearly similar too
    gronk and hernandez if these guys click
    sheesh and when did the pat have haynesworth? i dont remember this?

  2. It’s a good trade if they can deal with his cancerous attitude. If not, he won’t be with the Patriots for long.

  3. Bill doesn’t make “calculated” risks when it comes to offensive players – he just coaches them – it’s Tammy that has to be comfortable whether he can run the routes & catch the ball…that’s the calculated risk factor!

  4. For people asking, the risk is that he annually mopes and pouts about his contract. He becomes a locker room cancer.

  5. Low risk, low price, high potential for success, yeah most other coaches would be heavily criticized…

  6. Catching footballs from Brady has a way of making disgruntled receivers… well, I’d just be happy if he finds his way back to just “gruntled”

    But if this guy wants to cash in for his Free Agency the door is wide open to him to work hard, have a good attitude, get on the field and earn the reps Brady can give him – which would result in big numbers for his next contract

  7. I’m not close to being a Pat fan and I say this is a GREAT move. Gronk is awesome but he’s hurt half the time, but even if he isn’t there should be some nice offensive numbers from them together.

    Many of Bill’s move don’t work out— Amendola was clearly a mistake, but they will probably cut him for the $ for Bennett.

  8. I think this is a HUGE upgrade to the Pats playbook…I see a ton of2 TE sets & Danny Amendola will be the next guy felt in a trade….or a restructure….wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pats go after Dwayne Bowe & dump Danny & use his money to get a deal with Bowe….

  9. Brady loves Gronk & Julian and I really believe 7-11 will be his next favorite. That leaves zero room for Bennett and his bad attitude which will appear shortly after the season starts. Everybody is saying it’s the best TE combo in the league but just watch any game and you’ll see who Brady gets the ball to. It won’t be Bennett.

  10. The Bears made their decision on this guy last season before it was over. So glad they got a 4th round pick, we already had three 6th rounds. Great move for the rebuild Bears!!

    Good Luck in NE, I by no means dislike or hate the Patriots and Gronk and Bennett is a scary combo!

  11. Uh-oh. BB working it. Brewing up some haterade.
    Plenty to go around. Sending a batch to MIA.

  12. Even if he’s the 3rd or 4th option in the passing game he’s entering a high volume passing offense and he’ll likely receive as many red zone targets as he would as the #1-2 target with an average passing team.

  13. Lots of upside potential if Bennett plays it smart / plays well when he does get opportunities in a contract year. Downside is he gets cut if he acts stupid and pouts (thinking that’s his smart play…). Well worth the small draft pick risk risk given:
    A) TE is a good match for Brady’s throwing skillset
    B) outside deep threat is NOT a good match for Brady
    C) Insurance policy for Gronk getting hurt…
    D)…Bennett has a strong track record of being capable of #1 receiving tight end performance if Gronk gets hurt
    E) Patriots locker room is strong enough to withstand and deal with toxic players, and if he doesn’t toe the line, goodbye.

  14. Bennett will either beast for Belicheck for 3 more years, or be dealt or cut (again) by the end of the upcoming season. I absolutely do not see him buying into the Patriot Way but Belicheck is so rarely wrong on things of this nature that I wouldn’t bet against him.

  15. @ninersrule, really Amendola was clearly a mistake. No way is that true. That guy has played his heart out and at times been the only legit receiver on the field after others have gone down. He has earned Bradys trust by working hard. And he has been excellent on special teams. Not on the highlight reels but when you watch the patriots each week you see it.

  16. .
    Yesterday the Patriots gave up Chandler Jones in return for G Johnathan Cooper, a 2nd round pick, and 5 million in cap space.

    Today the Patriots swapped a 4th rounder for a 6th rounder and Bennett whose 5 million in salary was already accounted for in the Jones trade.

    So, in total, the Patriots give up Jones and a 4th rounder and get Bennett, Cooper, a 2nd round pick and a sixth round pick with the money virtually even.

    Left out of this discussion has been Aqib Talib who came to the Patriots with a bad rep, revitalized his career and left for a huge payday in Denver. If Bennet is wise, he’ll follow the same path.

  17. @NinersRule While I agree that Amendola may end up being cut, especially with the recent addition of WR Chris Hogan. But I completely disagree that “Amendola was clearly a mistake”.. FAR from it. His seasons leading up to the 2014-2015 Super Bowl Championship were disappointing, mostly due to injury. BUT.. During Super Bowl season Amendola’s contributions can’t be overstated. He made some HUGE clutch plays in those playoffs (the same kind Welker BLEW) and I don’t think we won without him. He’s down on the depth chart and isn’t necessarily going to put up consistent stats, but he has guts and heart and can be counted on when you need him most. If he goes I understand, but he will be missed.

  18. The is a great deal for Bennett if he plays his cards right. Even if he is just a good supporting second banana behind Gronk as long as the Pat’s go far (likely) he will escape his rep and be in a good position to land a fat payday somewhere. (Let’s face it, that won’t be the Pat’s). He is a very talented player so this is in his reach.

  19. I hope they can restructure Amendola. I get it on the money thing and sure it has to happen for him to stay but it really would be a win win. I don’t think he will get that money or more elsewhere so it’s in his best interest. Although he did not wind up in the role planned for him he is not really a ‘mistake’ because he’s far from a bust. He has worked hard and playes the role he does have as well as anyone could ask. He has also stepped up well when needed in the bigger role. He is dedicated, smart, tough…all the things the BB likes. He is fearless too. So what if a big hit is coming he still goes after that ball hard and with no hesitation. And even though the cheap shot on the punt return last year was totally wrong and he deserved the punishment he got from both the league and Belichick, the David vs Goliath aspect was kind of cool. I suspect even as BB disciplined him for it he was secretly liking it inside. Hope he never does it again, but it did make a statement to anyone that thought he was just some breakable little thing.

  20. The only problem from the Bears perspective is that this year’s TE draft class is uber weak. There’s Hunter Henry (who would be a 2nd round prospect most years but will be a 1st rounder this year), followed by a lot of garbage.

    They made the right move re-signing Zach Miller but he can’t block so that 4th round pick they got might be wisely invested in a big strong ox of an OT they can put in for extra blocking.

  21. The last time the Patriots traded a 4th round pick for a disgruntled, locker room cancer receiver it worked out ok as I think he had 23 TDs his first season

  22. I believe Martellus was consulted before he was traded so he is probably on board with it. The Pats could be a good way for him to rebuild some trade value, especially with a QB like Brady throwing balls his way.

  23. The best case scenario is that Bennett comes in with the attitude that this experience can help to redefine his career. No prima donna attitude will be welcome for any amount of time.

    I see a 2-3 window like Randy Moss had, and then some situation or perceived indignation with make him show his true colors, and they’ll cut him. That would be best case if it came with a Super Bowl along the way. Since Brady loves to throw to TE’s, he will get a long look, especially if he can block.

  24. In 2011:
    Welker had 122 catches
    Gronk= 90
    Murderer Who Shall Remain Nameless= 79
    Deion Branch=51

    Point is there’s room for Bennett to have a big year, mainly because the Patriots throw the ball a LOT, which is partly because of their run/pass ratio, and also because their offense tends to be successful and execute a lot of plays of ALL kinds.

  25. I agree, Bryan, Amendola was NOT a mistake, but a VERY useful and sometimes very CLUTCH cog in the machine at the price we paid for those years. Now that he’s at $5M, it’s time to consider re-doing his contract or cutting him, but that might have been the Patriots plan from the day he signed his contract, not just driven by his contributions.

  26. .
    The Patriots draft board is coming together exactly how Belichick planned it : heavy on the 6th and 7th rounds where they snatched Brady and Edelman :

    • Second Round, No. 61 Overall –Via Arizona Cardinals in Chandler Jones trade 

    • Third Round, No. 91 Overall 

    • Third Round, No. 96 Overall –Compensatory 

    • Sixth Round, No. 196 Overall – Via Houston Texans in Keshawn Martin trade

    • Sixth Round, No. 204 Overall – Via Chicago Bears in Jon Bostic, Martellus Bennett trades 

    • Sixth Round, No. 208 Overall –Compensatory 

    • Sixth Round, No. 214 Overall –Compensatory 

    • Sixth Round, No. 221 Overall –Compensatory 

    • Seventh Round, No. 243 Overall – Via Houston Texans in Ryan Mallett trade 

    • Seventh Round, No. 250 Overall

  27. I support the defense of Amendola. Was overpaid and injured for a year or so… but he’s been balling ever since.

    If only he didn’t fight so hard to almost get that 1st down against Denver in the AFCCG… maybe BB would have just kicked the field goal. Next time GET DOWN DANNY!

  28. I’m a Bear fan, & its a bittersweet day for me. Bennett is a SOLID TE !
    His absence will be felt on the field. On the other hand, I don’t believe he was a clubhouse cancer, but a very independant, private & “out there” kind of guy. Not a bad teammate, but just not much of a leader.
    I think he & Gronk are going to be unstoppable!
    Now, Shea McClellin……. yikes!

  29. Jets do need TE and We didn’t want him because he too much of MORE RISK than Marshall.

    I’m pretty sure at first, Bennett going to be a good solider, until to mid-season; Bennett gonna whine in locker room, which lead to distractions which Bill hate…

    Meanwhile Jets are doing just fine, thank you and Buh Bye.

  30. Makes sense got rid of stone hands Chandler they need an improvement at the 2nd TE spot. Bennet has been pretty good the last 4 seasons

  31. The Patriots just had a couple of TEs putting up numbers a couple years ago. That one guy was killing it before he went away. So, they have room for a 2nd guy making catches.

  32. The Bennett brothers are both insane in the membrane, no?

    This guy did just fine the year before last with Marshall, Jeffery, and Forte eating catches.

    I don’t see s problem here. Unless he is just batchip cray.

  33. A thought to all New Enland fans. Some of you up there in Beantown must see that Coach B is slipping big time. His decisions last year in games were minor league, especially the Philadelphia game. Like everyone in all sports they get old and worn out. What worked so well over the last decade is in the past. Happens everywhere. Was a great run though.

  34. NinersRule says:
    Mar 16, 2016 7:59 PM
    I’m not close to being a Pat fan and I say this is a GREAT move. Gronk is awesome but he’s hurt half the time, but even if he isn’t there should be some nice offensive numbers from them together.

    Many of Bill’s move don’t work out— Amendola was clearly a mistake, but they will probably cut him for the $ for Bennett.

    Without Amendola’s performance in the playoffs and SB, they might not win.

  35. I think it’s a great move-will they keep chandler too-man can u run 3 te sets? Some madden single back close time! Or bunch and run lololol can’t wait to watch not a pats fan-but admire bb

  36. This is a contract year for Bennett with next year his last time being able to cash in on a big contract. I think he’ll be on his best behavior. He did start becoming a distraction and a locker room problem but he did produce for Chicago. I think Belichick envisions the way things were a few years ago with Gronk and Aaron Hernandez both on the field at the same time. As long as Bennett doesn’t kill anyone, I think the Patriots will be happy with this 1 year rental.

  37. IF he can keep his yap shut in the locker room & IF Tammies happy with his routes – New England will get all they can out of him…but a couple of big IF’s to check off on your 1 year rental.

  38. I’m not really sold on Bennett. Always thought he was overrated even in Dallas. That said, if he can fall in line as a #2 TE he can get the payday he feels he deserves. It won’t be with the Patriots but he should be motivated. If he can’t make it work with Brady he’ll never get it anyway. Worst case the Pats cut him if he turns into the !@#$ he really is.

  39. What’s the risk?

    He’s a weirdo?

    Regardless, he’s set for at least 50 catches.

    The Patriot way is the BS, con the gullible public and don’t get caught.

  40. One more thing about the “Bennett Risk,” Johnson and Haynesworth didn’t really love football.

    Bennett does. If you love football, you can survive in New England.

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