A report says that the Green Bay Packers' former tight end, who was released for failing to report an injury, will have his former team coming after the bonus he signed with them.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that the Packers are going to go after at least a portion of the $6.3 million signing bonus they gave Martellus Bennett when they signed him as a free agent.
It's the next step in a most-unusual journey between the Packers and the player who now is with the New England Patriots and who, as of Sunday morning, was intending on playing despite a reported torn rotator cuff.
Bennett said in a lengthy post Friday on Instagram that the Packers examined his shoulder when he signed as a free agent in March and cleared him. Bennett says his shoulder got worse during the season and that he asked to have it checked after the 35-31 win on Oct. 8 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Bennett says he chose to have surgery but the Packers team physician, Pat McKenzie, "didn't make me feel safe and was pushing to play." Bennett says he got three other opinions who said that he needed to have the shoulder fixed.
Bennett says he went off anti-inflammatory medicine during the bye week and asked to have it examined his first day back. Bennett took part in the first practice after the bye. But he went on the injury report at midweek before the loss on Monday night to the Detroit Lions with a shoulder injury. He did not play in the game.
Bennett says that the Packers "panicked" thinking that he was trying to go on injured reserve and "be on their books next year. ... This was all about money."
"I chose my health over my 'team.' They chose money over me," Bennett wrote.
But Bennett practiced on Friday on his first day with his new team as a limited participant. He is listed as questionable for the Patriots' game Sunday night against Denver.
It was unclear if the team would respond to Bennett. But current or former Packers took to social media to defend McKenzie.
"In my 10 years of being with the Packers organization and having multiple injuries and surgeries, I have never once felt pressure to play in a game," receiver Jordy Nelson, who missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL, said on Twitter.
So did Aaron Rodgers.
I've been working with Dr. McKenzie for 13 years, and as well as being a phenomenal doctor, he's also become a close friend. He's done surgery on me twice, and I trust him and his opinion implicitly. Doc has always tried to protect me and my future, even if it meant protecting me from myself and my desire to get back on the field before I should. #gbpfamily #mydoc #ibackpat