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For a span of about 10 minutes, Packers fans worldwide ran a gamut of emotions ranging from frustration over general manager Ted Thompson's inaction in the free agent market to heartbreak over the anticipated loss of playoff hero Jared Cook.(
And if that last part sounds strange, look no further than the Twitter feed of NFL Fantasy's resident cheesehead, Alex Gelhar.)
But with one stroke of a pen, Thompson turned those Packer frowns upside down by replacing the departing Cook with Martellus Bennett, fresh off a Super Bowl LI victory with the New England Patriots. It's a net gain for the green and gold, adding an even more talented player at a position that the team has been consistently trying to fill since injuries derailed Jermichael Finley's career.
Want to know how important a productive tight end is to the success of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense as a whole? Well, we go back to Alex's Twitter feed for some analysis.
Those numbers came with a player in Cook who has been a perennial underachiever in his career and even last year only caught 30 balls for 377 yards and one touchdown. By contrast, Bennett nearly doubled Cook's reception and yardage totals (55 rec, 701 yards on 73 targets) during his only season in New England while adding seven touchdowns. He also had the highest passer rating when targeted of any player with 70-plus targets last season (136.8).
This move adds another frightening option in an already high-octane passing attack. As an athletic offensive weapon in the middle of the field, Bennett will open things up for the Packers' already-productive receiver trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. As for Rodgers, well it never hurts to have one more talented player to get involved in the offense. Especially when that player has the fourth-most catches of any tight end since 2012.
If you're deciding to depart a Tom Brady-led offense, there aren't many places you can go and not experience a drop-off in quarterback play. Martellus Bennett has just run that gambit. Not a bad present for a man celebrating his 30th birthday. There's no doubt that the Black Unicorn is going to be an unquestioned TE1 in the 2017 fantasy season.
Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG or on Snapchat at marcasg9.