Don’t be surprised to see the Giants cut Martellus Bennett, and with good reason

A couple weeks ago, I attended Giants minicamp, and here’s what I wrote about Martellus Bennett:

Bear Pascoe got a lot more reps with the 1′s today than Martellus Bennett.  I watched Bennett run one route in 7 on 7′s today.  Barely jogged.  It’s not like we’re in Day 20 of training camp in sweltering August heat and he’s understandably taking a play off.  We’re in Day 2 of a minicamp, it’s 70 degrees with a calm breeze, and after Thursday, there are no practices until the end of July.  Totally unacceptable effort and body language.

Someone in the comment section made the point that Bennett’s hamstring was slightly dinged, so that may have played a part in his lack of effort.  I thought it was a fair point, although his effort prior to the injury wasn’t much better.  Yesterday, however, NFL Network ran a Cowboys Hard Knocks marathon, which was filmed in Bennett’s rookie season.  I took a quick video of the Cowboys’ coaching staff discussing one of the preseason games.  Here’s the special teams coach talking about Bennett:

And that reminded me that I had written about Bennett from his appearances on Hard Knocks in the past.

Bennett’s position coach at one point told Martellus to put his helmet on.  Bennett, taking his sweet time in a semi show of disrespect, took 16.4 seconds to put it on.  Yes, I rewound it on my DVR and I timed it.  Stop what you’re doing and count to 16.  It’s an eternity.  It was kind of like Bennett was thinking “OK, I know I have to put my helmet on.  I can’t just completely disobey my coach, or this thing is going to turn into a blowup.  I’m just going to take forever to put this thing on to show this guy that he’s not really the boss of me.”  At another point, his position coach was giving Bennett instruction.  Bennett looked like a zombie.  No nodding, no response, no acknowledgement whatsoever from Bennett that another human being was trying to talk to him.  Nothing.  When the coach walked away, Bennett suddenly snapped out of his zombie-like gaze, turned to the camera, and flashed a big smile.  As a 2nd round pick, there was no way in hell Bennett wasn’t going to make the team, but if an undrafted free agent ever acted like Bennett, he’d be cut on the spot.

Bennett’s crappy body language at Giants minicamp is nothing new.  He’s making $2.5 million this year on a 1-year contract and the Giants are more than a little peeved that he has ballooned up to 291 lbs.  If the Giants are indeed not happy with what they’ve seen of Bennett so far, here’s an additional reason to cut him: If Bennett doesn’t make the team, he won’t qualify in the formula that determines compensatory pick distribution.

In terms of being awarded picks for losing players, for every player you sign in free agency, that cancels out a player lost.  This offseason, the Giants lost the following qualifying players in free agency:

  • Mario Manningham (2 years, $7.5 million)
  • Aaron Ross (3 years, $9.75 million)
  • Dave Tollefson (2 years, $2.4 million)

They only signed one unrestricted free agent away from another team:

  • Martellus Bennett (1 year, $2.5 million)

Losing Manningham and Ross will likely net the Giants a couple of 6th round picks, and losing Tollefson would likely net a 7.  My best guess is that Bennett would likely cancel out Ross… unless he doesn’t make the team, in which case the Giants may just get themselves an extra 6 in 2013.

Update: As noted by Blogging the bEast’s compensatory pick expert, ct17, “1 year $2.5 million is usually 7th round value. So Bennett would cancel out Tollefson.” This would give the Giants almost no incentive to cut him to salvage the comp pick, but it would still not surprise me in the slightest to see the Giants cut Bennett simply because… well… he’s an underachiever, who, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t look like he cares even a little bit.

30 Comments

  1. [...] The Beast editor Jimmy Kempski, known around these parts as ‘JimmyK,’ got himself into a bit of hot water with some New York Giants fans recently when he wrote that the Giants might end up cutting [...]

  2. [...] I wrote a short, unflattering post about Martellus Bennett last week, and gave my opinion that it would not be surprising to me if the Giants cut him.  This time, a large Giants message board by the name of Big Blue Interactive picked it up, [...]

  3. Devin B. says:

    The only surprise here is if the Giants let you back in to watch another practice. What a piss poor job of “reporting” and a reach. seriously, your basing an opinion on Hard Knocks from a few years ago? Damn, man, you realize how stupid that looks? Bennett ain’t getting cut based on Hard Knocks from a few years ago. Bennett pulled a hamstring. It happens all the time in the spring.nyou gonna claim Tyler Sash gets cut too because he pulled a hamstring?

    1. It’s not based on Hard Knocks. It’s based on what I’ve seen of him in multiple practices, both before and after his “hamstring injury.” The Hard Knocks aspect merely shows that what I observed in practice isn’t all that different than what can be seen on TV when he was with the Cowboys.

      Here’s what I wrote prior to the “hamstring thing.”

      http://bloggingthebeast.com/2012/05/23/giants-ota-notes-may-23-2012/

      Martellus Bennett is listed at 6’6, 270. We can see those numbers and know that he’s a big guy. But sometimes you don’t really grasp how enormous a player is until you see him in 3D. Bennett is one of those guys. I hadn’t really planned on paying too much attention to Marty, but I wound up watching him quite a bit. His athleticism is everything as advertised. It’s impressive how well he moves for a guy his size. However, (and I’ll say this bluntly)… His route running sucks. On 2 consecutive plays, I watched him run a little 10 yard stop. Both times, he got to his spot quickly, but executed a very lazy turn back to the QB. I could have flipped around more quickly. On that kind of route, when you hit your spot, you want to turn your body sharply back to the QB and give him a big target. Bennett’s turns were slow and lazy. In a weird way, I think this should be looked at as a positive. From what I saw, Bennett’s deficiencies are fixable. Last year, the Giants took a complete unknown in Jake Ballard and turned him into a guy that would contribute 604 receiving yards. In terms of pure talent, Ballard doesn’t touch Bennett with a 10 foot pole. It’ll be interesting to see what the Giants can do with him.

      His body language was much worse in subsequent practices, and they went beyond a player with a little muscle pain. I’ve seen players work out with various injuries. I’ve never seen them look as uninterested as Bennett. The hamstring thing is no excuse for what I saw. If his leg was that bad, the Giants’ staff wouldn’t have put him out there.

      Dismiss it if you’d like, but that’s what saw.

      1. As a Cowboys fan, it’s funny to see Giants fans now defending Bennett simply because he is now on “their team.”

        I don’t think he is as disinterested as his body language and antics convey–I think he is just one of those people who have a stupidly defiant attitude and don’t want to do something just because someone else tells them to (i.e., TE coaches, for example)–but, otoh, nobody is going to be calling a high motor guy any time soon, lol.

        For whatever reason, he still acts like a spoiled child in practices, and there is simply no excuse for that in your 5th SEASON in the nfl, and your best shot at getting any chance of a big contract after this year. A “flake,” or a “toll” is probably right on the money, lol.

  4. Gordon Tyron says:

    Hey Jimmy, Bennett isn’t that bad. Look at these videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N66NQgcbSsw (Bennett’s 2010 season)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWnwHPnAaRs (Bennett’s 2011 season)

    I’d say the 2011 season was the worst one of the two, but you see some potential. This cat has some nice ups and good speed after the catch

    1. Thanks for sharing those videos. Didn’t know they were out there.

      I watched the 2010 video since that was the one you indicated was the better of the two. I gotta say… I don’t see much of anything there that’s impressive at all. In fact, it’s actually worse than I expected. I counted one pass that he caught more than 10 yards down field.

      1. Gordon Tyron says:

        Ouch… then you’re going to absolutely despise the 2011 video. LOL!

        1. Yeah, just watched that one. Also not good. I’d be curious to see the passer rating of Cowboys QBs when they tried to throw to him more than 10 yards downfield. Might have to figure that out.

          Thanks again for posting the vids.

          For full disclosure, just FYI, I really liked the signing when they got him, and said so numerous times. But after observing him in person, both before and after he dinged up his hamstring, I see a player that just doesn’t give a crap. I might be wrong, and it might be unfair to draw that conclusion from just a few practices, but I’ve never seen an NFL player with crappier body language. Take that for whatever that’s worth.

          1. Gordon Tyron says:

            Thanks dude. I also hear he is supposedly ‘the best blocking TE’ in the NFL by many on social media, blogs, boards, and on twitter

            But I can’t figure that one out. Some people say the reason why he was unproductive is because he was buried behind Whitten. But, at the same time, he became a world beating, all-pro dominant nfl blocking tight end.

            I think it may just be a stupid justification for Bennett underachieving as a receiver. Like you said already, he’s received more than enough snaps in double TE sets. The real reason why he hasnt done much as a receiver is because of his laziness

            1. I’m on board with him being a good blocker. I haven’t studied the other 75 or so TEs in the league to know if he’s “the best blocking TE in the league,” like apparently a lot of other people have. But if you’re going to be a viable threat in an offense as a starting TE, the defense has to at least respect that you might make a play in the passing game. And Bennett hasn’t even come close to doing that. Otherwise, you may as well just put an extra offensive tackle in there.

              Also, like you, I don’t buy that Witten stunted Bennett’s progression. Bennett had more than ample opportunities in Dallas to show something. He never did.

              1. jim jones says:

                lol this is a stupid article i know him and he works hard despite looking slouchy and having fun

              2. jim jones says:

                oh and no matter where you work be it mcdonalds, walmart, or the nfl if you dont like your situation you wont succeed and thats fact.

              3. You’re going to have to unpack that McDonald’s/WalMart/NFL part, and explain how that applies to Bennett. I don’t want to fill in the blanks incorrectly.

              4. jim jones says:

                it doesnt matter where you work if no one praises you for the hard work you put in every day because of some issues you may have had before then you wont come to work happy, and an unhappy worker does not get great results. You can say whatever you want about his stats as a number 2 TE (check Fred davis stats if he didnt become a number 1 this past season due to cooley injury then his stats are up to par with bennetts with a few more tds) anyways there is a such thing as doing YOUR job in the nfl there are role players who job may be to run underneath routes and block. He got talked about for having fun with his 1 hour of free time that every player has lol thats bs…. Got bigger from actually working out since the season ended? thats crap too smh!

              5. It like my buddy Rafael Vela (a Cowboys writer) said of Bennett:

                “The guy can block. Problem is, he’s a flake. It’s hard to back up Jason Witten, but he never pushed to get more playing time. Witten never had to sweat that Martellus was gaining on him.”

                Fred Davis is a horrible example to help your point. Fred Davis won the starting job last year over Chris Cooley to begin the season. Davis was the starter before Cooley got hurt. When Davis got his chances, he produced. Martellus Bennett did nothing with the Cowboys. Nothing. Over the last 3 years, he has averaged around 32 snaps per game. That’s what you would call ample opportunity to produce. And he simply hasn’t.

              6. jim jones says:

                what about guys like joel dreesen, craig stevens, scott chandler, delanie walker, anthony fasano, etc… lol i have not seen any one of those guys who have been number or less for at least 6 years… nobody criticizes those guys!!!!! fasano had 28 catches as a cowboy behind witten… and is only averaging 30 a season a dolphin in a starting role but he was considered better than bennett because ppl think he does not care!!!!! and the reason ppl dont think he doesnt care is because he does some things off the field that are fun to him, including charity events that people often labeled as parties lol smh!!!! Doing it for the money? i think not because its more money in it than 500,000 a season before taxes!!!!!! so what i was saying to you is perception is everything, you had your mind made up before you got facts…

              7. I didn’t have mind mind made up at all. In fact, I liked the Giants acquisition of Bennett when the first got him. I observed what I observed, and my opinion changed. As for the Craig Stevens Scott Chandler stuff, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  5. ct17 says:

    1 year $2.5 million is usually 7th round value. So Bennett would cancel out Tollefson.

    1. You’re the expert.

  6. Trub Deuce says:

    Bennett is an idiot! As a cowboys fan I’m glad he’s gone and to a division rival it feels better! As a football fan tho HE DISCRACES EVERYTHING THE GAME IS ABOUT. He should b cut & out of the league!

  7. Eric says:

    Off topic, but this story was kind of funny at the bottom.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/21/brandon-jacobs-pays-back-his-tiniest-fan/#comments

    “It was just us in the whole place, and we were just going room to room – just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy,” Jacobs said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?”

    Is that really Brandon Jacobs or a quote from the Sandusky trial?

    1. giantsfan says:

      lol. i feel bad b/c it was a pretty classy thing for jacobs to do, but you’re right that quote is just wrooong.

  8. Free Plax says:

    Not to worried about Bennett, he picked the wrong coach to play for if he wants to keep doing things like he did on the Cowboys. Coughlin will cut him in a heartbeat if he is not carrying the company line by training camp. If he can block we can make do with him this year, because Gilbride likes to use WR’s more than he does the TE in the passing game.

    Giants definitly took a gamble on this guy though, I caught his behavior on Hard Knocks too, he had a poor attitude. If he doesn’t improve he will be out of the league in a year maybe two.

  9. rage114 says:

    Contract aside, I don’t think Coughlin is the kind of coach who will put up with that BS for long.

    He seems like a coach that would rather lose with players that give everything than win with slackers.

  10. NYG_slater says:

    Marty B’s contract is 2.5 mill if he reaches all his incentives. His base contract numbers are:
    Signing bonus: $675,000
    Base salary: $975,000
    Roster bonus: $87,500
    Workout bonus: $50,000
    So its really a 1.8 million contract. If he reaches all the incentives great for him and the giants. If not, well atleast he can block right?

  11. Seanrude says:

    Marty B can block, which is important for the position he plays, unlike wide receiver. His hands are lousy, his route running such, and he is a head case. At least Giants fans are finding this out early, as opposed to Cowboys fans who would get teased by decent performances in OTAs and Training Camp, only to see him sink without a trace in the passing game during the regular season

  12. giantsfan says:

    This is so disappointing. I don’t know if the Giants have enough depth at tight end to cut bennet though. After all, he is one of the best blocking TE’s in the league and I think the hope is that he can be a stop gap until Robinson is ready to take over full time.

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