Martellus Bennett has confirmed he’ll be signing elsewhere once free agency opens Thursday, expressing his thanks to New England Patriots fans Wednesday night on Twitter.
Bennett’s farewell message included a Buzz Lightyear quote and a GIF of him dancing with Patriots cheerleaders — par for the course for the eccentric tight end.
It had been reported for weeks that Bennett would command more in free agency than the Patriots would be willing to pay. Any chance the 29-year-old had of returning next season was extinguished Wednesday when New England acquired tight end Dwayne Allen in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.
Allen likely will slide into Bennett’s previous spot as Rob Gronkowski’s backup. Bennett performed well in that role in his first and only season with the Patriots, playing in every game for the Super Bowl LI champions. He caught 55 passes for 701 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
NFL free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Thursday.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images