Retired tight end Martellus Bennett opened up about his time on the New England Patriots while speaking with Jason and Devin McCourty on their podcast Double Coverage With The McCourty Twins, and he got candid about one player in particular. Bennett had strong words for his former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo, calling out the quarterback for what he said was leaving the team in a vulnerable position.
Looking back on when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended to start the 2016 season, Bennett explained the team lost two games that entire campaign, which ended in a Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons. One of those games, a 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, was, in Bennett’s opinion, because “Jimmy Garoppolo was being a b—-.”
Bennett said: “He decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a f—ed up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b—- about it all … you can’t win with a b—- for a quarterback, first of all.”
The 35-year-old alluded to this being a pattern with Garoppolo.
“That was the whole thing with him: He didn’t want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s— like that. Which, I can’t fault him for that,” Bennett added. “But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it’s Sunday.
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Another member of that Patriots team, wide receiver Julian Edelman, weighed in on Bennett’s Garoppolo take while on the I AM ATHLETE podcast. Edelman went through what happened that season, saying Garoppolo injured his non-throwing shoulder. And despite Brissett injuring his thumb, Brissett went in to play for the team.
“I guess Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play. And Jacoby [Brissett] played with no ligaments in his thumb, which — you can’t do that as a quarterback. You can’t grip. And if it’s your left [shoulder]…” Edelman said, suggesting that Garoppolo could have been able to play.
Speaking for the team, Edelman noted that it was not just Bennett who was upset with how Garoppolo handled the situation.
“A lot of guys got mad about it. A lot of guys got mad. I’m not gonna lie — I got mad about it. I sacrifice my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, you know, Grade 3, hanging on by limbs, just to play. And you know, I can understand why Marty thinks like that.
Garoppolo is now on the San Francisco 49ers and is recovering from another shoulder injury. San Fransisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said previously that he expects Garoppolo to be traded, but that it is not a guarantee. The 30-year-old quarterback’s recovery is currently on schedule, and he said he expects to be back for training camp.