EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Giants tight end Martellus Bennett held court with reporters -- with his shirt off -- following Monday's OTA, to dispel the notion that he is overweight.
"Just put on a lot of muscle this summer," Bennett said. "Been working out since January. Faster, stronger, jump higher, run longer, great condition -- every conditioning test we had, I aced."
"Just been beasting out all summer," Bennett added. "What y'all should be writing about is how much of a freak Martellus turned himself into."
Bennett has been sidelined of late with a hamstring injury, but he was in the news late last week when tight ends coach Mike Pope commented on Bennett's weight. "He weighed in at 291 pounds last week," Pope said. "So I think that is probably a little too big for his legs to carry."
Bennett admitted Monday that he had heard all the talk about his weight. "I was just like, that's some bull----, because I'm not fat or out of shape," Bennett said.
"I feel like physically I've always been one of the top athletes in this position, and I'm probably one of the top five strongest guys on this team right now," he added. "I've been working on routes, working on everything since January 1 -- I never really took a day off. So my thing was just to be in the best physical shape. ... In this part of the offseason I'm in way better shape than I've ever been since I've been in the NFL, and I feel the best I've ever felt."
Bennett could play a key role for the Giants this coming season, after signing a one-year, $2.5 million free-agent deal in the offseason. The 25-year-old had 85 catches in four seasons with the Cowboys while backing up Jason Witten, but should get more of an opportunity with the Giants, thanks to the injuries to Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum.
"It'll get there," coach Tom Coughlin said, when asked about Bennett and his weight. "He's a guy that's obviously got the size to carry whatever weight we would want him to carry. He claims that he's made very good strides in the weight room, and he has.
"He played in the 270s last year, so we'll get that under control."
Bennett is hoping to be able to participate in the Giants' veteran minicamp next week. "I just pulled my hamstring 'cause I overworked myself," Bennett said, "'cause I was squatting 450 [pounds] and then I went out there and ran routes."
"My body fat percent is like 13 [percent] -- by the time the season comes I’ll be at nine percent body fat," Bennett added. "I got measured the other day, which I always do -- get sexy for getting these suits for the summer. My biceps are like three inches bigger than they were last fall. I mean, I just been getting rocked up."