Bears Trying to Trade TE Martellus Bennett?
A season of change is in Chicago. The Bears have already replaced former head coach Marc Trestman with the more balanced and stable John Fox, while the franchise has also cut ties with superstar wide receiver Brandon Marshall (traded to New York Jets). There have been whispers the team could find a way to move on from beleaguered franchise quarterback Jay Cutler, as well.
Add another name to the pile that could be out of Chi-town.
Per reports, the Bears have begun gauging interest in star tight end Martellus Bennett, who is coming off of a career season in 2014. Entering the third year of a four-year, $20 million contract, Bennett’s value is at an all-time high after hauling in 90 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns.
The Bears could be playing with fire by dumping all of their productive offensive talent, but the new regime could also just be thinking a fresh start is what’s best for a franchise that has seemingly been drowning itself in mediocrity over the past few years.
While still a major offensive asset, Bennett costs more than the average tight end (and even wants a new deal) and the Bears could feel they either don’t need him or could easily replace him. Bennett tends to be a bit of a hot head, too, so it’s also possible Fox and co. want someone who is more “their guy” and will fall in line with the rest of the team.
Now that Bennett appears to be on the trading block, the next step is to find a taker. Bennett could thrive in the right situation, and there are plenty of teams that lack an impact tight end that would probably love his tenacity and productivity. The Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns are just three teams that come to mind that do not currently have a legit answer at the position.
The Falcons are probably the most obvious choice, as they haven’t found a suitable replacement for the retired Tony Gonzalez and visibly missed a reliable presence over the middle of the field in 2014. Of course, they’re also under a new regime and could decide to simply improve through the draft.
The same could be said for the Packers and Browns. Green Bay drafted Richard Rodgers last year and the Browns signed Rob Housler to replaced Jordan Cameron, who fled for South Beach in free agency. Chicago would probably not be too excited about dealing Bennett to the Packers, too, since he’d face them twice a year inside the NFC North.
A trade doesn’t appear imminent, but the Falcons and Browns are arguably two of the top contenders to land Bennett, should they express serious interest.
As for the Bears, ridding themselves of another distraction could be another positive step in their current rebuild, or it could be proof they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Only time will tell.
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