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.