Giants sign Cowboys TE Bennett as free agent

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Super Bowl champion New York Giants signed tight end Martellus Bennett as a free agent.

The Giants announced the one-year, $2.5 million deal Wednesday.

Bennett spent the past four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as the backup to Jason Witten, catching 85 passes for 846 yards and four touchdowns.

The Giants were in need of a tight end after starter Jake Ballard and backup Travis Beckum suffered major knee injuries in the Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots

"In our situation it's a perfect match, because here we are with two guys that aren't going to be able to go," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We get a guy with this quality and we can say to him, `You go out on the field, you go from less than 30 percent play time to 70-75-80 percent play time just by virtue of if you come here and if you are willing to pay the price to be what you want to be. Here's the opportunity."'

A second-round draft choice from Texas A&M in 2008, Bennett also is an excellent blocker. The Giants' running game struggled most of last season and it is going to be a question mark next season after the team's decision to release veteran Brandon Jacobs.

"In Dallas, my main role was to block, run block," Bennett said. "I think I was a big part of the run offense that we had out there. I actually enjoy blocking, honestly. The thing I like about coming here, the situation here is that I don't only have to block. I get a chance to do more things. Last year, I only had 23 targets with the Cowboys and I played a whole lot of snaps. I think this year I'll get a chance to show both ends of the spectrum. I don't like to be labeled. I don't want to be labeled as a pass-catching tight end or a blocking tight end. I just want to be a tight end."

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