Bennett: Staying in New England intriguing for off-the-field efforts

Bennett: Staying in New England intriguing for off-the-field efforts

There are advantages to playing in New England that extend beyond teaming up with Tom Brady, learning from Bill Belichick, and an annual run at a Super Bowl.

For those who have interests outside of football, spending your time in the Boston area can potentially lead to opportunities that might not be available in other NFL locales. Someone like Martellus Bennett, for example, will consider all that the city has to offer could as he contemplates his future whereabouts. 

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Bennett will turn 30 next month, and he's about to become an unrestricted free agent. This could be his last shot at a lucrative new contract, and though he was fighting through injuries for much of the 2016 campaign, he seemed to help his value by remaining on the field and helping the Patriots secure their fifth Lombardi Trophy. 

The 6-foot-7, 275-pounder could field enticing offers from tight end-needy franchises across the league, but he tweeted on Wednesday that he likes the idea of staying put. It could have a real impact on how he builds up his brand long-term, he explained. 

Of course, Bennett can pursue his off-the-field work in any of number of places. Landing in New York or Los Angeles wouldn't hurt in that regard. But the combination of what the Patriots offer as an organization and what the area offers his future pursuits might be the best of both worlds. 

When it comes to his next contract, Bennett could be looking at a deal similar to the one Panthers tight end Greg Olsen signed when he turned 30 -- three years, $22.5 million with $12 million guaranteed -- or the franchise tag, which is projected to come in at around $10 million.  

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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