Bennett wants to return to Big Blue

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
3:52
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Martellus Bennett had the best season of his career in 2012, and hopes to be back with the Giants in 2013.

"Of course I would want to come back," Bennett said, the day after the Giants wrapped up their 2012 season. "I think this place has been great. I love the organization, the people, the team, the city and the fans. I love everything about here."

The Giants gave Bennett a one-year deal last offseason, after four underwhelming seasons with the Cowboys. Dallas drafted him in the second round in 2008 out of Texas A&M, but he never had more than 33 catches and 260 receiving yards with the Cowboys.

In his first season in New York, Bennett had 55 receptions for 626 yards, and five touchdowns.

"I feel like I improved a lot," Bennett said. "I think next year with another year in the offense I think I could do 10 times what I did this year and be a lot more effective."

Coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese both showered praise on Bennett.

"I think he’s made outstanding progress," Coughlin said. "I think he was looking for an opportunity to play and contribute and to be more productive, and he certainly got it. ... As with all of us, there’s more to be learned and more to be developed, and he does have talent."

"I think he did do a good job for us, for a guy coming in," said Reese. "The system is not easy to learn, our offensive system. It’s a lot -- you have to read the defense on the run -- and I think he did a pretty good job."

The Giants haven't had stability at the tight end position in recent years. Kevin Boss left for the Raiders following the 2010 season. Jake Ballard, the starter last year, was picked up the Patriots.

Bennett had 20 more catches this year than Boss did in 2010, and 17 more than Ballard last year.

"I think I played well enough to get a multiyear deal anywhere," Bennett said. "I think there’s a lot of places that will be looking for a tight end, and the tight end is becoming a tremendous part of the offense, and my confidence is at an all-time high."

That said, his No. 1 preference was clear.

"The wife and I both feel like we’re going to be Giants no matter what," Bennett said. "But if not, you never know. I think if I’m not a Giant my number one priority would be playing with my brother."

Bennett's brother, Michael, had nine sacks for the Buccaneers this season, and is a free agent, too.

A package deal might not be a bad idea.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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