While some members of the Green Bay Packers used the bye week to relax and recover from football, tight end Martellus Bennett apparently used his free time to contemplate his career. On Saturday, the tight end announced on social media that he plans to retire following the 2017 season.
“After conversations with my family I’m pretty sure these next 8 games will be the conclusion of my NFL career,” Bennett said in an Instagram story post. “To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you.”
The Packers made their biggest free-agent splash of the offseason by signing Bennett to a three-year, $21 million deal. Bennett immediately became the team’s most accomplished tight end since Jermichael Finley, raising expectations for an offense that finished the previous season among the league’s best units.
However, Bennett has struggled through the first half of the season, catching only 24 passes for 233 yards and no touchdowns. He has also dropped three passes, tied for the ninth most in the NFL through seven weeks. Bennett ranks fourth among Green Bay receivers in receptions and receiving yards.
The Packers could potentially pursue reimbursement for some of Bennett’s signing bonus. Even if they don’t the tight end’s retirement would save the team over $4 million in cap space next season.