New England Patriots

After 10 seasons in the NFL, former New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett is trading in playbooks and schemes for coloring books and creativity.

Over the weekend Bennett, 31, took to Instagram to officially announce his retirement from the NFL.

I've decided to move on from the world of football and into the fantastical and wondrous world of creativity. To be honest I was never really a football player I've always just been a creative guy who played football. I've loved some parts of the game but never everything about it. The game of football has been a huge part of my journey but it has never been my final destination. Nor has it been my life's work. I always knew that this roller coaster ride would end I've enjoyed every up and down twist and turn, as well as every scream and shout. It was fun, scary, exciting, painful, frustrating and I've had the joy of being on this rollercoaster a lot longer than most. But it's time to get off of it and ride another ride at MartyLand as I begin my life's work of creativity something that I love every single part of. I would like to thank all of my teammates that have listened to my crazy ass ideas in the sauna, cold tubs, hot tubs, planes, buses, lunch table, dinner table, breakfast table, training rooms, in between meetings, before meetings, after meetings, before & after practice, during special teams periods at practice lol, at your houses, at my house, the bathroom, equipment room, my art studio. I'd like to thank the coaches who found ways for me to be creative at work because they knew I needed that balance. I appreciate you all. I will keep my end of the bargain and give you guys a discount when I open up my first theme park you and your families will always be welcomed at everything created at Martellus Bennett's Imagination Agency. @theimaginationagency

31.7k Likes, 1,652 Comments - Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on Instagram: "I've decided to move on from the world of football and into the fantastical and wondrous world of..."

It might not come as a surprise to some because he was hinting at retirement over the course of the 2017 season.

But in late February Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, said that Bennett wanted to continue playing and the Pats had a timely decision to make.

The Patriots eventually released Bennett on March 7, making him an unrestricted free agent.

But why is Bennett all-of-a-sudden hanging it up? Is it because of his recent hamstring and rotator cuff injuries, which ultimately landed him on Injured Reserve in 2017? Or is he really done with the game and is ready to move into a “full-time” role with his ‘Imagination Agency?’

Either way, Patriots Nation certainly owes him a thank you for helping the Pats win a FIFTH Super Bowl!

BOSTON – Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots celebrate during the Super Bowl victory parade on February 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

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Bennett made his return to the Patriots in late November this past season following a release from the Green Bay Packers after signing a three-year, $21 million contract during the 2017 offseason.

Through two games with the Pats in 2017, he had six catches for 53 yards and zero touchdowns.

During Bennett‘s only full season with Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2016, he had 55 catches for 701 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns, en route to his only Super Bowl victory. Throughout the season he demonstrated that he could excel and play a critical role in a complicated Patriots offense.

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In 144 NFL career games, Bennett had 433 receptions for 4,573 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Dallas Cowboys second round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft was selected for the 2014 Pro Bowl as a member of the Chicago Bears after catching 90 balls for 916 yards and six touchdowns.

Hey! Just remember Marty B, if you’re ever looking to dance with somebody, the Patriots’ Cheerleaders are ALWAYS down!

FOXBORO, MA – Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots celebrates with cheerleaders after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to win the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Best of luck in the future and thanks for being one helluva Patriot No. 88.

—  By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman,

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at