The New England Patriots have claimed tight end Martellus Bennett off waivers, a day after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers.
For Bennett, it means a return to New England, where he won a Super Bowl last season.
The 30-year-old had 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns in his lone season as a Patriots before leaving for Green Bay in free agency.
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The Packers waived him on Wednesday with the designation that he failed to disclose a physical condition. Bennett was signed as an unrestricted free agent last offseason to a three-year deal worth $21m.
It remains to be seen when he might be available to play for New England. The veteran was added to the injury report after the bye last week with a shoulder injury. He did not play in the 30-17 loss on Monday to the Detroit Lions.
If Bennett does get healthy, he proved last season he is capable of thriving in the Patriots’ offense and he provides a potent threat in the red zone alongside New England’s four-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski.
In the offseason, the Patriots traded a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for Dwayne Allen and a 2017 sixth-round draft pick as a replacement for Bennett.
But Allen has been ineffective in New England’s potent passing attack. He was troubled by drops in the training camp and has failed to earn Tom Brady’s trust. He has yet to catch a pass this season.