NFL Rumors: Patriots Releasing Martellus Bennett, Opening More Cap Room

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New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett

Photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images

The New England Patriots reportedly plan to free up more salary cap space Wednesday.

The Patriots are releasing tight end Martellus Bennett, a league source told ESPN’s Field Yates. Bennett had a $2 million option bonus due March 16.

Releasing Bennett will open up more than $6 million in cap room. The Patriots should have more than $23 million in cap room after the move becomes official. This move was expected.

The Patriots opened up over $3 million in cap room Wednesday by declining to exercise defensive tackle Alan Branch’s 2018 contract option.

Bennett, who was claimed off waivers from the Green Bay Packers last season, will become a free agent as soon as he’s released. He had six catches for 53 yards in two games with the Patriots before being placed on injured reserve last season.

The Patriots also could elect to release tight end Dwayne Allen, a move that would open another $5 million in cap space. The Patriots still have Allen, Rob Gronkowski, who’s contemplating retirement, Jacob Hollister and Will Tye on their tight end depth chart. They likely will have to address the position at some point this offseason with a free-agent signing or draft pick.

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