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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that TE Martellus Bennett turned down $7M a year extension, will resume negotiations after the season

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The Patriots TE turned down a $7M a year extension to stay in Foxboro and has halted negotiations until after the season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For those hoping to see the Patriots extend TE Martellus Bennett, it won't happen during the 2016 season. At the start of the year, the Patriots TE turned down a $7M per season extension and will resume talks after the season. With RT Marcus Cannon locked up for the next five seasons, the Patriots attention shifts to Bennett as their key offensive FA. Based on the latest market for TEs, Bennett is probably looking for $9M+ per year in terms of an extension.

The Patriots take the hierarchy of their paid players seriously and Bennett is not going to make more money than Rob Gronkowski, even though both are game-changers as both blockers and receivers. Gronk is scheduled to earn $10M a year for the next three seasons, so there is a potential opportunity to get a $9M/yr extension done if the Patriots value Bennett as much as they do with Gronk. Bennett is currently playing through a nagging ankle injury initially suffered in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, but re-aggravated the injury against the 49ers and was a non-factor as a receiver next week. Bennett will play against the Rams this Sunday after being limited in practice this week and listed as Questionable for the game.