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It’s a family affair in New England, or at least it could be.
Retired NFL tight end Martellus Bennett “is interested in coming out of retirement” to play for the New England Patriots, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Super Bowl LIII champions reportedly acquired his brother, defensive end Michael Bennett, from the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.
Martellus Bennett retired after the 2017 season, in which he caught 30 passes for 286 yards in nine games.
He suffered numerous injuries and was placed on injured reserve in November.
However, the 31-year-old was productive in his last full season of 2016, catching 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns for the Pats. He could certainly return to that form in 2019 with a year of rest and better health.
Bennett was in good spirits in late February as he shot a jovial video asking Pats head coach Bill Belichick to give him a call, per TMZ Sports:
Bennett appeared to be joking, of course, but things could be getting serious after Friday’s report.
The Bennett brothers could also prove to be invaluable veteran pieces for the 2019 team. Defensive end Trey Flowers is a free agent, and Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports explained why the move to Bennett would make sense provided Flowers leaves:
Matt Harmon @MattHarmon_BYB
Michael Bennett is an ideal replacement for Trey Flowers who will come at a cheaper cost, require less commitment, and provide at worst comparable play.
Sounds about right.
Mina Kimes of ESPN also noted how well Michael Bennett did last year in Philadelphia:
Mina Kimes @minakimes
for those who didn’t watch much eagles football last year—Bennett was extremely productive. good depth for NE.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end had nine sacks last year.
Martellus Bennett could be a great pickup, especially if Rob Gronkowski retires. Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told NFL Live on Feb. 19 that his client would make a decision on his future within “a couple weeks.”
As Schefter noted, the Bennett brothers may not be the only siblings on the Pats. Defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty, who are twins, played together in 2018. Devin is under contract for one more season, but Jason is a free agent.
The family trend continues in the coaching ranks, too. Steven Belichick, the son of head coach Bill Belichick, leads the safeties.