Green Bay Packers head Mike McCarthy would not directly link tight end Martellus Bennett’s talk of retirement after this season to his sudden release by the team on Wednesday, only calling it “an injury situation.”
The Packers waived Bennett with the designation that he failed to disclose a physical condition.
Bennett made a surprising announcement during the Packers bye week on Instagram that he was “pretty sure” he would retire after this season. He then was sidelined with an unexplained shoulder injury that popped up following the first practice after the bye. He hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 22.
“Well, I mean, you can’t deny the facts of your timeline and how everything went down,” McCarthy said Thursday. “I mean, really, to tie all that together, you’re asking me to get inside somebody else’s feelings, conversation, more on a personal level. I think this all started obviously coming out of the bye week. Everything leading up to that, I can’t really comment on it. And then we went down this injury path, and then here we are today. So, I mean, it’d be all speculation.”
Bennett, 30, took part in one practice after the bye week and appeared on the injury report the next day because of his shoulder. That’s the injury the Packers contend that Bennett failed to disclose.
“He practiced, and then he had concern about his shoulder,” McCarthy said. “And that’s really it.”
Since the Packers released Bennett for failure to disclose a physical condition, that could give them grounds to try to recoup a portion of his $6.3 million signing bonus — something they almost certainly would have done had Bennett retired after the season. They signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract in March and could be entitled to $4.2 million of his signing bonus.
In seven games, Bennett caught 24 passes for 233 yards and didn’t score a touchdown.