New York Giants: Big Blue Should Look to Sign Martellus Bennett Long Term

Doug RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 9, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Martellus Bennett #85 of the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

One year ago, the Giants took a gamble on making Martellus Bennett their starting tight end.

Bennett was given a one-year deal to see if he could really live up to being a starting tight end in the NFL after being a backup for four seasons.

After leaving the shadows of Jason Witten and the Dallas Cowboys, Bennett showed in 2012 that he was in fact a reliable asset to the Giants offense.

The 25-year-old Bennett had 55 catches for 626 yards with six touchdowns for the Giants in 2012 and showed the NFL that he wasn't just a good blocker, but he could be a great pass-catching tight end as well.

Now set to be a free agent, the Giants will be looking to re-sign Bennett, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. But the Giants know that Bennett could get other offers from around the league as well.

The Giants hope to re-sign Bennett. If they are unable to re-sign Bennett, the Giants will likely have to search for another tight end. Bennett should be one of the Giants' priorities among their own free agents. Pascoe, who was going to be a restricted free agent, recently re-signed with the team. 

The reason behind the Giants going out to get Bennett was due to the fact that their starting tight end of a year ago, Jake Ballard, suffered a torn ACL during Super Bowl XLVI, which took him out for the entire 2012 season.

The Giants tried to put him on waivers in a roster maneuver, which backfired on them because the New England Patriots ended up claiming Ballard and stashed him away on their roster.

So with Ballard no longer on the roster, it's not like he's a fallback option, which makes Bennett being signed a priority.

Adrien Robinson was barely used during the regular season, so you really don't know if he's even ready to be a regular in the lineup for the Giants.

Bennett developed a rapport with Eli Manning and was able to be counted on when Manning needed to throw in his direction for a first down or even in the red zone for a touchdown.

The one thing the Giants have over other suitors is the fact that Bennett stated that he was willing to give the Giants a hometown discount to stay with them.

To me, that sounds like Bennett wants to be a Giant and isn't just looking short term, either.

With Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, David Wilson and Rueben Randle, Bennett makes the offense of the Giants an even more explosive one that can put up over 400 points in the season.

Without Bennett, it's either back to the drawing board to find another tight end in free agency or time for a trade—or hope that Robinson is ready to step up.

I think the Giants will bring Bennett back and keep him around for a while this free-agency period.

The Giants have had a bit of a revolving door over the last several years with the starting tight end spot with Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss and then Ballard all eventually leaving.

For the Giants' sake, they have to hope they can stop the revolving door and lock up Bennett.