What number should Martellus Bennett wear with the Packers? You decide

New Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett is getting into the spirit of the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL; he’s letting the people decide what number he will wear this season.

Bennett said on Twitter that with the Packers being "owned by the people," he thought it was only right that they pick his new number.

New Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett is getting into the spirit of the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL; he’s letting the people decide what number he will wear this season.

Bennett said on Twitter that with the Packers being "owned by the people," he thought it was only right that they pick his new number.

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Martellus Bennett is coming off one of his better NFL seasons to date in 2016, and it looks like he took advantage of that in free agency.

According to a report from NickSportsTV, the former Patriots tight end is expected to sign with the Packers, who confirmed the news. NFL Network reported Green Bay signed Bennett to a three-year, $21 million contract. ESPN reported it as a three-year, $18.45 million contract

Bennett recorded 55 receptions for 701 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns for the Patriots last season. He comes off a four-year, $20.4 million contract (originally with the Bears). The Patriots picked up the final year of his contract, paying him a base salary of $5.1 million in 2016.

Bennett had the ninth-most receiving yards of any tight end last season, and the second-most receiving touchdowns. He will bolster a Packers offense that ranked seventh in the league in passing yards per game (262).

Bennett is the Packers' first compensatory free agent signed in the last five years. Not that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers minds.


Packers sign Martellus Bennett to three-year deal

Packers fans were fumed when Green Bay broke off talks with free-agent tight end Jared Cook. As it usually goes for Packers fans, the bad times didn't last long.

The Packers announced Friday they signed tight end Martellus Bennett just weeks removed from winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Packers signed Bennett for three years and $21 million. Bennett later confirmed his joining the Packers on social media:

"For Martellus Bennett, he goes from playing with Tom Brady in New England, to now playing with Aaron Rodgers," Rapoport said during Friday's edition of Free Agency Frenzy. "You know he appreciated the experience with Tom Brady. Now he gets to (go) from one of the game's all-time time greats to one of the best quarterbacks currently in the NFL."

Said Rapoport: "This is a big win for the Green Bay Packers."

RapSheet ain't kidding. The free-agency-averse Packers agitated their loyal followers -- and certainly Rodgers -- by failing to craft a new deal with Cook, who surged down the stretch to catch 30 passes for 377 yards and a touchdown.

Operating as the finest tight end in Green Bay since Jermichael Finley, Cook was a no-brainer to bring back. Instead, patient general manager Ted Thompson found an even better option in the big-bodied Bennett, who paired with Brady last season for 701 yards and seven scores off 55 grabs. Much of that work came with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski sidelined and Bennett serving as the team's clear-cut top tight end.

"Aaron Rodgers is at his best," said former Packers wideout James Jones on NFL Network, "when he has somebody to work the middle of the field like this."

It's an ideal addition for the Packers, who spent much of the day taking heat from pundits and fans alike for their refusal to raid the open market.

As for Bennett -- who turned 30 on Friday -- signing with another pristine organization and high-powered offense only adds to his chances of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

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