Martellus Bennett's only explanation for possible retirement: 'Life'

Martellus Bennett signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Packers in March. Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Martellus Bennett offered only a one-word explanation for his surprising announcement over last weekend’s bye that he was “pretty sure” this season would be his last in the NFL.

“Life,” Bennett said when asked what led to his decision.

And with that, Bennett left the Green Bay Packers locker room on Tuesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old, 10th-year veteran would not entertain any other questions on the team’s first day of work after the bye.

When asked whether he would talk to reporters at all this week, Bennett said: “Probably not.”

When asked why he wouldn’t speak, he said: “Nothing to talk about.”

It’s unclear if Bennett gave the Packers any explanation for his apparent decision to potentially walk away after just one season in Green Bay. He signed a three-year, $21 million contract in March. The deal contained a $6.3 million signing bonus, and the Packers could -- and probably will -- go after the remaining two-thirds of that bonus, which would total $4.2 million, if Bennett follows through with retirement after this year. In addition to having to repay that, Bennett also would leave up to $12.95 million in additional earnings on the table if he did not play after this season.

Bennett was back on the practice field Tuesday for the Packers’ first workout following the bye.


He did not come into the locker room until the last few minutes of the post-practice, media-availability session. After a brief stop at his locker, he declined interview requests and made his only comment while walking out.

Coach Mike McCarthy said he did not have any indication from Bennett before his announcement any potential retirement.

“That's really something, I think anytime comments are made, you should probably speak to the individual,” McCarthy said Tuesday. “I'm not going to speak on anybody's future plans and so forth. But there'll be a point to sit down and talk to Marty. But it was the bye week, like I said, I can't really speak on it.”