GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers have waived Martellus Bennett, bringing the tight end’s short tenure at Lambeau Field to a surprising end.
General manager Ted Thompson announced the move on Wednesday after practice.
The Packers cited a “failure to disclose a physical condition” for making the move. Bennett practiced on Tuesday after the bye last week before going on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
He didn’t play in the 30-17 loss on Monday to the Detroit Lions after being listed as doubtful for the game.
Bennett also posted on Instagram during the bye week a message that indicated he was thinking about retirement.
“After conversations with my family I’m pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career,” he wrote. “To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you.”
Bennett signed with the Packers as an unrestricted free agent last offseason and started seven games. He had 24 catches for 233 yards. Bennett dropped a few passes, but was an asset in the running game.
Bennett was listed as having not practiced on his last day with the team on Wednesday.
The injury would have kept him out of Sunday’s game at Chicago, which is where Bennett calls home after spending the 2013 through 2015 seasons with the Bears.
“Martellus Bennett will not practice this week, he will not be available for the game,” coach Mike McCarthy said before Wednesday’s practice.
“I know he was in here yesterday, there’s a number of opinions that he’s working through, he met with our medical staff yesterday, so they’re still going through the process, but he will be out against Chicago.”
Bennett’s agent, Kennard McGuire, declined comment.
During the season opener against Seattle, Bennett was one of three players who knelt for the national anthem. He is the brother of the Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, who has sat during the anthem.
In free agency, Bennett got a three-year, $21 million contract that included a $6.3 million signing bonus. Bennett had base salaries of $900,000 this season, $3.6 million (plus a $2 million roster bonus) in 2018 and $5.65 million in 2019. The Packers could go after the prorated amount of that signing bonus, $4.2 million.
With a Chicago-based family and a passion for art and creativity, the 30-year-old Bennett was asked during training camp if he had considered retiring after winning a Super Bowl with New England last season.
“I think when I stop loving the preparation is when I will give it up because that’s the most important part, whether that’s working out or watching film and studying and taking notes,” Bennett said in camp.
“Once I feel like my preparation goes down, I feel like that’s when I will walk away. I think that will happen before my body gives out.”
The Packers have two other tight ends on the roster in Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers. Both have had 50-catch seasons. Kendricks has caught eight passes for 126 yards and one touchdown while Rodgers has caught four passes for 43 yards.