Martellus Bennett announces retirement... shocks NFL community by pursuing 'life's work'


On the one hand, when a 31-year-old Super Bowl champion announces his retirement, there’s going to be surprise.

But when it comes to Martellus Bennett, anything goes — he’s a free spirit, with lots of interests, and has shown he’s not afraid to go against the grain.

So Friday’s retirement announcement might have been shocking to some, but not when one looks at the whole picture.

Bennett said on Twitter that he’s moving “from the world of football and into the fantastical and wondrous world of creativity. I’m beginning what I believe to be my life’s work.”

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Bennett has long been involved in the world of animation, and has also written a children’s book.

He has a production company, Imagination Agency, devoted to such work, and it looks like that’s what he’ll be doing instead of catching passes and blocking.

When we last saw Bennett, he was on the sidelines during the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia, inactive due to shoulder and hamstring injuries.

This marks the end of an interesting NFL career for the tight end.

Are you surprised to see Martellus Bennett retire to pursue a career in animation?

He was drafted by Dallas and played for the Cowboys, Giants and Bears before heading to New England prior to the 2016 season.

That year, he teamed with Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski to form the best tight end combination in the league.

When Gronkowski went down injured, Bennett was a critical part of the Patriots’ championship run.

He then signed a three-year, $21 million deal with Green Bay, but he was ineffective, especially once Aaron Rodgers was injured.

The Packers waived him with a designation that he failed to disclose a physical condition, reportedly a torn labrum.

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Once New England claimed him, Green Bay tried to win back his signing bonus, but it was rejected by an arbiter.

While Bennett played only two games in New England before hurting his hamstring, it was obvious that he was glad to be back, and the feeling was mutual.

Witness his celebration after the AFC championship game win over Jacksonville.

He isn’t the only member of his family to make headlines last week. His brother Michael, a longtime Seattle Seahawk who was recently traded to the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, was indicted on a felony charge for allegedly injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman. The incident happened when Michael ran onto the field at NRG Stadium to celebrate with Martellus after the Patriots won Super Bowl LI.

Michael Bennett has been one of the more outspoken NFL players when it comes to racial issues and has regularly protested the national anthem.

While Martellus hasn’t been as vocal as his brother, he has expressed similar views via political cartoons.

Bennett finishes his 10-year NFL career with 433 catches for 4,573 yards and 30 touchdowns.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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