Whether it’s to the Baltimore Ravens or another team, it seems the Chicago Bears feel quite strongly about Martellus Bennett not playing for them in the 2016 NFL season, which means they’re working hard at trying to find a trade partner for him.
Bennett had two strong seasons with the Bears in 2013 and 2014 after joining them from the New York Giants, but in 2011 played in just 11 games, finishing with 53 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns, with his yards per game dropping to 39.9, his lowest figure in Chicago. Zach Miller is actually older than Bennett, but the Bears see him as a better option for tight end next season (439 yards, 5 touchdowns last season) and don’t seem to mind throwing some money at him considering they have a lot of space under the cap.
Bennett is due to make $5.085 million in base salary next season and comes with a $6.31 million cap hit. The Bears can cut him and save over $5 million in cap space, but they prefer trying to find some value in moving him, with teams out there like the Ravens who seem to be in some tight end trouble, and a proven offensive producer like Bennett could be of immediate help as a one-year rental instead of trying to develop a young tight end off the draft.
And the Ravens have issues at the position. Both Dennis Pitta and Crockett Gillmore have serious injury concerns. Pitta has played just 7 games in the last two seasons, while Gillmore missed six games last season. Another option they have is Nick Boyle, who is suspended for the first 10 games of the season. Marc Trestman is the Ravens offensive coordinator, and he coached Bennett to his two best career seasons in Chicago, making it a more obvious connection than with other teams who might be going after the one-time Pro Bowl selection, who’ll be turning 29 in a week.