Marcellus Bennett isn't exactly your typical New York Giants acquisition. After all, this team likes its football on the unassuming side. It is also the reason when names such as Jeremy Shockey, Chad Ochocinco, Randy Moss, or Terrell Owens are mentioned as available, the Giants are never on the short list of suitors. Unlike their crosstown rival, the New York Jets, it would be laughable to consider Tim Tebow playing for Big Blue.
So why sign Martellus Bennett? While he doesn't exactly stack up to the most notorious NFL bad guys, he certainly comes with his own significant baggage. He has faced fines from the league for an explicit rap video and nude photos of him surfaced on the web. But that is minor in football terms considering the mess Bennett created when he questioned the quarterback situation of the Dallas Cowboys.
As reported by NBC Sports, Bennett said the following in April of 2011:
"I loved playing with (Jon) Kitna. Kitna is one of my favorite people to play with. Just being out there on the field with that guy just makes you play even harder. He made some things happen in limited time, so I think if he got a longer chance, he'd be able to do more. I hope there is a chance for a quarterback competition this year. Every position, I think we need to put more competition into it."
Perhaps Bennett was just trying to build up an otherwise unappreciated Jon Kitna. Or perhaps he has a beef with Tony Romo. Maybe he is even sincere about his comments on open competition. Regardless, he ruffled feathers in Dallas who considered him trouble. It also appeared to have lost him opportunities in the offense as trust between the two (Bennett and Romo) waned.
Yet to say the Giants need him desperately is an understatement. With a shortage of experienced tight ends and injuries at the position, Bennett has suddenly become a much needed commodity.
In addition to Bennett, the Giants have tight end Travis Beckum who is expected to start the year on the PUP List (Physically Unable to Perform) and rookie Adrien Robinson (Cincinnati) who is a blocking specialist. Bear Pascoe may also receive a long look at the position.
Adding to the frustration of the Giants was the waiver loss of Jake Ballard.
"Discouraged is a minor description," Coughlin told ESPN regarding the claim of Ballard. "Very disappointing. I am not going to have a lot to say about that one, just the fact that we are disappointed. We are very disappointed."
Ballard was claimed by the New England Patriots last week but is still expected to miss all of 2012 with an Achilles injury.
All this has left the Giants depending more heavily on Martellus Bennett - a player who hasn't caught a regular season touchdown pass since 2008. Nonetheless, he will have every opportunity to shine with the Giants.
As for his past, Bennett recently said, "I am more professional with all the things I want to do right now."
If true, it would be a welcomed proclamation for the New York Giants.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Giants fan, fantasy football fanatic, and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.