The New England Patriots have claimed veteran tight end Martellus Bennett off waivers.
Bennett was waived by the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday with the designation that he failed to disclose a physical condition.
Bennett returns to New England after playing for the Patriots during the team’s 2016 Super Bowl winning season, pulling in 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns.
To make room for Bennett on the 53-man roster, the Patriots waived defensive end Geneo Grissom.
During the Packers’ bye week, Bennett said on social media that he was “pretty sure” he would retire after this season, then was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Bennett 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.
The Patriots didn’t re-sign Bennett as a free agent in the offseason, electing instead to acquire tight end Dwayne Allen in trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Allen, however, has not lived up to expectations, as he’s only recorded one catch in eight games this season, which has, in part, led to the Patriots’ offense struggling in the red zone.
In claiming Bennett, the Patriots inherit the three-year, $21 million contract that he had signed with the Packers. If the Patriots don’t pick up a $2 million bonus early in the 2018 league year, Bennett will become a free agent again, and the Patriots salary cap will not take a hit.