Sometimes the NFL really feels like a Telenovella. That’s a soap opera aka ‘Daytime drama’ for those unfamiliar with Mexican programming. This is a fun one.
This offseason, tight end Jared Cook looked like a lock to re-sign with the Packers after a breakout season which included an ESPY winning catch in the playoffs against the Cowboys. But the two sides apparently couldn’t reach and agreement and the Packers decided to sign big name free agent tight end Martellus Bennett instead to a 3-year, $21 million deal ($7 million per season).
With Cook an unexpected free agent, he signed with the Raiders on a 2-year, $10.6 million deal ($5.3 mil per season), becoming their best tight end in years even before he took the field. Now after nine games, he has confirmed he was the best tight end to suit up in Silver & Black since Zach Miller by catching 39 passes for a team leading 499 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile the arrangement in Green Bay with Bennett is now over after nine games. Aaron Rodgers was injured and lost for the season in week six and with it any hopes the Packers would compete for the playoffs. Martellus Bennett has been somewhat of a disappointment, catching 24 passes for 233 yards, appearing in 7 games.
Now Bennett returns to New England where he caught 51 passes for 701 yards and 7 touchdowns last season and got a Super Bowl ring.
He lands with the Patriots just in time to take the opposite sideline of Jared Cook who was kicked to the curb for him.
This is a double edged sword. While Cook has outperformed Bennett more than two-fold this season, and no doubt Cook will have extra motivation knowing the man who the Packers thought was better than him is on the opposing team, now the Patriots will have two serious tight end threats against a Raiders team that still has not figured out how to cover one.