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Packers sign Martellus Bennett to three-year deal

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Packers fans were fumed when Green Bay broke off talks with free-agent tight end Jared Cook. As it usually goes for Packers fans, the bad times didn't last long.

The Packers announced Friday they signed tight end Martellus Bennett just weeks removed from winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Packers signed Bennett for three years and $21 million. Bennett later confirmed his joining the Packers on social media:

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

"For Martellus Bennett, he goes from playing with Tom Brady in New England, to now playing with Aaron Rodgers," Rapoport said during Friday's edition of Free Agency Frenzy. "You know he appreciated the experience with Tom Brady. Now he gets to (go) from one of the game's all-time time greats to one of the best quarterbacks currently in the NFL."

Said Rapoport: "This is a big win for the Green Bay Packers."

RapSheet ain't kidding. The free-agency-averse Packers agitated their loyal followers -- and certainly Rodgers -- by failing to craft a new deal with Cook, who surged down the stretch to catch 30 passes for 377 yards and a touchdown.

Operating as the finest tight end in Green Bay since Jermichael Finley, Cook was a no-brainer to bring back. Instead, patient general manager Ted Thompson found an even better option in the big-bodied Bennett, who paired with Brady last season for 701 yards and seven scores off 55 grabs. Much of that work came with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski sidelined and Bennett serving as the team's clear-cut top tight end.

"Aaron Rodgers is at his best," said former Packers wideout James Jones on NFL Network, "when he has somebody to work the middle of the field like this."

It's an ideal addition for the Packers, who spent much of the day taking heat from pundits and fans alike for their refusal to raid the open market.

As for Bennett -- who turned 30 on Friday -- signing with another pristine organization and high-powered offense only adds to his chances of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

By all accounts, Rodgers is thrilled with the outcome:

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