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Interpreting Martellus Bennett: Super Bowl joy, a fond farewell or just Marty being Marty 02.08.17 at 12:49 pm ET
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It’s always difficult interpreting the words of a star athlete at the end of his contract.

Throw in a Super Bowl victory parade, fans screaming and showering them with love, it becomes that much more of a challenge.

Add in the boundless energy, spirit and personality of Martellus Bennett, and the task is just about impossible.

But it’s hard not to wonder if the Patriots dynamic and outspoken tight end was making a farewell address of sorts at the end of Tuesday’s rolling rally, just moments before joining his Super Bowl LI champion teammates at Boston City Hall Plaza for an address to the fans.

“We already knew we had the best fans in the country,” Bennett told reporters as he held his daughter Jett. “Super excited. There was a lot of energy, a lot of love. I’m happy.”

Does he actually believe the comeback happened on Sunday?

“Do I believe it?! [Shoot], I won the Super Bowl. What do you mean I believe it? It happened. I was there,” Bennett said.

What was it like?

“It’s cool. Awesome. It’s amaze-balls,” Bennett said. “I felt like for a couple of hours, [being] with these guys on this team again, one more time we were kings. We were kings for a couple of hours.”

Amaze-balls. Just another part of the lexicon that has made Bennett one of a kind in New England, as Chris Price documented in great detail. Bennett was the star of Super Bowl opening night, carrying on an in-depth conversation with J.B. Smoove about black unicorns and life in general at the Super Bowl.

Then Bennett, who enters free agency for the third time, began to wax very philosophical.

“I’m a champion. You can’t take that from me. I’m a champion today, I’ll be a champion tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll be a champion for the rest of my life. And the 2016 Patriots will always be champions. It’s pretty cool. I had to change my bio: ‘Super Bowl champion, NSA.” It’s pretty awesome. I’m super-excited.”

NSA is an acronym for “no strings attached” and indeed he is once again. But listening to Bennett, this felt different, and not just because he had just earned his first Super Bowl ring. Bennett, who turns 30 on March 10, is in line for likely the last big deal of his career. He has said all along this season that he’s not worried about the money because he’s been smart and diversified in his investments. Still, a lot of teams could come calling, and with Rob Gronkowski’s future clouded by injuries and uncertainty over a contract extension, Bennett is in a position of power.
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Read More: free agency, Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots, nfl
Patriots add ‘blessed’ Leon Washington to their arsenal 03.14.13 at 6:46 pm ET
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Soon after tweeting “negotiations!!!” while in a meeting with the Patriots, kick returner and running back Leon Washington went a step further by tweeting out a picture of himself in a Patriots hat, indicating that he had agreed to terms with New England. At the bottom of the picture, he tweeted, “#blessed Lets Go #Pats.”

About an hour later, the Patriots made it official, signing the veteran return specialist.

Washington, who turns 31 on Aug. 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the New York Jets (2006-09) and the Seattle Seahawks (2010-12). The 5-foot-8, 203 pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round (117th pick overall) draft choice by the Jets out of Florida State in 2006. He was traded by the Jets to the Seahawks on April 24, 2010 for a 2010 fifth-round draft choice. Washington was released by Seattle on March 12, 2013.

Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs (Cleveland) with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown in a game against San Diego in 2010. Washington earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2012 and All-Pro honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Washington has played in 103 NFL games with 14 starts and has registered 473 rushing attempts for 2,213 yards and 16 touchdowns, and 146 receptions for 1,127 yards and two touchdowns. He has also returned 168 punts for 1,668 yards and 244 kickoffs for 6,315 yards and eight touchdowns.

Indeed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that the Pro Bowler signed a one-year deal to play with the Patriots, who did not reveal terms or length of the contract.

Washington is the leading candidate to replace Wes Welker on punt returns and could also provide insurance in the running game, should the Patriots not retain free agent running back Danny Woodhead.

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: free agency, Leon Washington, New England Patriots, New York Jets
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