The typical NFL player will never decide anything about his employment, unless he wants to quit the league altogether. An average NFL career lasts shorter than a rookie contract, and for the vast swath of players who are not Kirk Cousins, NFL teams use the enticement of security and a slight raise to sign players to extensions before their rookie contract is up. Most players are either bound to a team until that team is through with them, or otherwise financially incentivized to stay with that team as long as the team wishes. There is free agency for players in the NFL, but by and large, teams control player movement.

Many in the NFL reacted to the unusual case of Martellus Bennett with a raised eyebrow, directed at Bennett and his new/old team, the New England Patriots. Bennett signed with the Green Bay Packers this offseason, and he played for them for nine unhappy and unproductive weeks before he told them he wanted to have shoulder surgery, which led the Packers to release him.

Only Bennett never had that surgery. He instead signed with the Patriots, with whom he won a Super Bowl last season, and suddenly materialized Sunday night. He provided a familiar option for Tom Brady and a complement to Rob Gronkowski, catching three passes for 38 yards. “I love having Martellus on our team,” Brady said.

In Bennett’s telling, his move to the Patriots happened on a lark, through a series of unintended coincidences. After the Packers waived him, Bennett told his agent to let teams know he intended to have surgery and retire, so don’t bother claiming him. Except that Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots claimed him, anyway, after Bennett fell to them in the claiming order because other teams believed …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

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