Annoying Football Texts

Annoying NFL Texts with Ian Rapoport: Martellus Bennett's magical reappearance in New England

November 16, 2017
New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
Justin EdmondsDENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Tight end Martellus Bennett #88 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after a 41-16 win over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 12, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The NFL is a strange place, in case you didn't know already. One team's discard is another team's nifty find, and in the case of tight end Martellus Bennett, it gets even weirder considering the conflicting reports of his ailing shoulder. Long story short is that Bennett's shoulder was troublesome enough that there was a question of whether he should be playing at all this season, and with Bennett alleging that the Packers were forcing him to play through the condition, the team eventually released him last week.

But rather than undergo season-ending surgery, Bennett signed with the Patriots -- who he won a Super Bowl with last season -- and caught three passes for 38 yards in Sunday night's win over the Broncos. Confused? Yeah, so are we, which is why we're fortunate to have NFL Networks Ian Rapoport's digits.

Of course, players fall out of favor with teams all the time, and it's not always because of injury. The Bills had invested three seasons in quarterback Tyrod Taylor and appeared poised to rely on him through 2017 as well. Then with the Bills at 5-4 and still in the playoff hunt, coach Sean McDermott announced that Taylor would be benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman.

Not to be forgotten is that NFL coaches are notoriously risk averse when it comes to quarterbacks. Maybe the reason Taylor kept playing was he was still preferable to the unknown. But as Rapoport notes, their commitment to Taylor headed into the season might have come at the expense of their future.

Teams are often guilty of thinking their quarterbacking woes could be solved through the draft, which is why this week's rivalry matchup between USC's Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen will heavily be scrutinized by NFL executives. Both are touted among the best QB prospects in the country, and it's possible this one game could push one squarely out in front of the other.

You can count on Giants' GM Jerry Reese paying attention. With Eli Manning approaching his 37th birthday and the dismal Giants dropping to 1-9 at the hands of the previously-winless 49ers last weekend, Reese is likely to use a high pick next draft on Manning's successor -- assuming Reese is still around at that point.

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