With losing WR Mario Manningham to free agency Hakeem Nicks to a foot fracture (Questionable for Week 1), theGiants will have to rely on other receivers to pick up the slack come week one. One of those receivers could be former Cowboy TE Martellus Bennett.
Bennett, who signed a one-year, $1.8 mil deal has put on 43 pounds in the offseason, now weighing 291 pounds. His TE coach, Mike Pope suggested that the hamstring issues that Bennett has had may be because of his weight.
When asked about it, Bennett had no problem bragging about himself in his usual bravado:
"I'm looking like Atlas, not Professor Klump," Bennett said. "I just wanted everybody to know that I'm not fat. I'm trying to get an eight pack. I got six and a half now. I'm trying to get eight." -M.B.
He also defended himself against Pope:
"Every conditioning test we've had, I aced. Everything we've been doing. Routes, I've been running smoother, more explosive out of all my cuts. Just been beasting out all summer." - M.B.
Bennett has always had a big mouth - and for the most part, has always blocked well. Now you mix in about $700k in incentives, an additional 43 pounds of all muscle, according to Bennett, and an opportunity to snag a starting spot on a roster, you may see a different Bennett this season - Especially since the Giants are a no-nonsense team with proven leadership at just about every position on the field. Bennett has already stated that he will get every incentive in his contract.
It is not for certain that Bennett will even win the position battle in New York.
The team went into OTA's with eight Tight Ends on the roster. If anything is certain, it is that the Giants don't have a for sure starter at TE. With Jake Ballard on the IR for the 2012 season, Bear Pascoe is the only TE on the roster from last year's team. He had 12 receptions for 136 yards and no touchdowns in 11 starts last season.
What are the chances that this is Bennett's year? Is it possible that he finally realizes that his past three years in Dallas were a complete waste of talent? (85 catches for 846 yards and no touchdowns since he had four as a rookie in 2008) This may be his last chance to compete with a real contender in New York.