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Martellus Bennett: They 'overpay' Super Bowl champs

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Ever the character, Martellus Bennett was all over the place after his first Super Bowl win.

The Patriots tight end celebrated with his brother on NFL Network; he brought his daughter to his postgame news conference; and somewhere amidst the chaos Bennett confirmed that he wouldn't join the team when they visit the White House.

But Bennett saved his best quip for last, projecting his future while living in the present.

"I'm going into free agency as a Super Bowl champion," the enigmatic tight end declared after the win, according to the New York Daily News. "You know they overpay Super Bowl champions!"

New England's offseason acquisition of Bennett via trade with the Chicago Bears turned out to be more crucial than it was deemed at the time. When Bennett joined the Patriots, he was set to be a complement to Rob Gronkowski, demanding attention from safeties previously disposed to covering the All-Pro behemoth and opening up the already spread-out Patriots offense.

But when Gronk went down for the season in Week 12, Bennett's role changed and proved more vital during New England's stretch run, even if his stats took a hit.

In the biggest game of his life, his first Super Bowl appearance in his hometown, Bennett was a crucial target for Brady during the 25-point comeback. The tight end was on the receiving end of four first-down conversions during the game, including a 25-yard gainer on third down early in the fourth quarter. He also drew a pass interference on the game's penultimate play. Bennett finished with five receptions, 62 yards and one Super Bowl ring.

All that doesn't mean Bennett will want to stay in Foxborough next season. After all, the journeyman tight end knows his services will be rightly rewarded, and then some, thanks to his newfound championship pedigree. Bennett was owed just over $5 million this season in the final year of his four-year deal with the Bears, per Spotrac, and if he hits the open market as an unrestricted free agent in March, he should be able to garner more than that.

His one season with the Patriots transformed Bennett's reputation from a troublemaking tight end to a win-first chess piece. Teams will be willing to overpay for the latter version of the 29-year-old. Will the Patriots be one of them?

Bennett responded Monday, saying he wasn't being serious with his quip.

Don't miss: Live coverage of the Patriots' Super Bowl LI victory parade starts at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday on NFL Network.

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