Writing on the Wall with Marty B

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Martellus Bennett
GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Martellus Bennett /
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Pernell McPhee
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Pernell McPhee /

It’s the first quarter of Green Bay’s Week 6 matchup with the hated Vikings when Aaron Rodgers takes the shotgun snap and sees his perfectly tossed throw on 2nd and 9 dropped by Ted Thompson’s big-ticket free agent signing, Martellus Bennett.

Martellus Bennett won’t be dropping any more passes in Green Bay because he was cut by the Packers late Wednesday afternoon.

Who knew that one down would not only result in Rodgers’ last snap of the season — as he was unceremoniously slammed to the turf by Anthony Barr — but effectively bring Marty B’s tenure as a Packer to an abrupt close?

Now, Bennett did suit up for the following week’s tilt versus New Orleans in which he would offer a nondescript 2-catch performance, but his subsequent announcement about retiring at season’s end was a bad omen to say the least.

More from Lombardi Ave

Apparently, it suddenly dawned on the 30-year-old that he would no longer be playing for a championship-caliber organization with No. 12 recovering in a sling and with 13 screws drilled into his right shoulder.

So, when the going gets tough, as the old adage says, the tough … pack up their belongings and hit the road?

No, that’s not how the old saying goes, but that’s exactly the card that was played by the well-traveled 10-year veteran, who chose not to stick around after the hurricane that just swept through Packers News.

The man known as “The Black Unicorn” took a page out the Bobby Petrino playbook and checked out of dodge.

Unlike Petrino, Martellus Bennett couldn’t get out of his contract and move to Arkansas. So, he did the next best thing and tried milking a mysterious shoulder ailment to avoid risking injury on the playing field.

The fact that the Packers have released the 6-foot-6, 275-pound tight end and are now claiming he’s nursing an undisclosed injury in order to recoup $4.2 million in prorated signing bonus dollars is merely a technicality that will sort itself out.

The main takeaway is that Thompson failed spectacularly in not going the extra mile to re-sign playoff hero Jared Cook and, instead, replacing him with a less athletic veteran, who has a history of being a front runner.

Yes, I said “front runner” and that’s something Chicago Bears’ fans can attest to.

Once the 2014 season began spiraling out of control in his days as a Bear, “Martysaurus Rex” elected to poison team chemistry instead of rallying his teammates by openly questioning their passion.

He continued by railroading his quarterback, Jay Cutler, for his perceived lack of leadership skills. Earlier that season, Bennett took his frustrations out on Kyle Fuller by body slamming him during a training camp practice session.

GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 10: Martellus Bennett
GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 10: Martellus Bennett /

Yes, history does tend to repeat itself and Thompson was well aware of No. 80’s recent past, but chose to overlook those incidents because he thought he had a championship club on his hands.

Well, we all did…or at least most of us.

The overwhelming majority of fans and media members forecasted greatness for the Packers with Rodgers performing at the peak of his powers and a plethora of weapons around him.

And so, the offseason announcement of Thompson reeling in Martellus Bennett by inking him to a 3-year, $21-million deal was met with unabashed praise.

The San Diego native had just come off a prolific year with the Super Bowl champion Patriots with a 55/701/7 stat line in the regular season.

Many viewed Martellus Bennett as a more complete player than Cook due to Bennett’s ability to contribute as an inline blocker and take on defensive linemen and linebackers alike.

How could anyone disapprove of such a move?

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 8: Jared Cook /

The one fly in the ointment was the fact that the Packers had already witnessed Cook’s efforts as downfield threat who played a major role in their late-season turnaround.

Shortly following Green Bay’s loss to the Falcons in the NFC Championship, Rodgers himself went to bat for Cook by publicly clamoring for his return.

Instead, the front office didn’t even consider negotiating the free agent’s initial salary demands and rolled out the red carpet for Bennett.

Thompson knew what he had in Cook, but rolled the dice on the outspoken pass catcher that didn’t react well when the chips were down in The Windy City.

In his seven games in green and gold, Martellus Bennett would end up with more drops than touchdown catches (zero).

Watching the lumbering newcomer run his routes was akin to viewing a 52-year-old trying to relive his past glory in a game of two-hand touch at the neighborhood ball field.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers /

Green Bay Packers

No, Martellus Bennett wasn’t going outrun anybody at this stage of his career, but he would have to get open by using his size. But even that proved to be a tall order.

Cook, on the other hand, has continued to prosper as an integral part of Oakland’s passing game and gained twice as many yards (499 versus 233) as the one-time Dallas Cowboys’ second-round pick.

And now, a proud franchise and their loyal fans are left holding the bag as their prized spring acquisition is heading for the hills in the winter of Green Bay’s discontent.

It was nice knowing you, Marty B.

Thanks for nothing.