Despite reports that the Chicago Bears placed Martellus Bennett on the trade block, head coach John Fox feels confident that the tight end will still be on the roster upon the conclusion of the NFL Draft.
When asked if Bennett would make it through the weekend, Fox answered, “yeah,” per ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. Fox added:
“I have talked to him. I kind of know where he is. Like I said yesterday, with anybody that is not here, I prefer they are here. But he’s part of our football team and we’ll leave it at that.”
As for the team’s future plans, however, Fox wasn’t sure. He said:
“That’s kind of tough question to answer on anybody. I don’t know yet. We are just evaluating practice and this is our first opportunity [to look at players] over this week.”
Bennett has not attended voluntary workouts and reportedly does not plan to show up at camp unless he receives a new contract. He compiled a career-best season in 2014, hauling in a position-leading 90 receptions for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns.
Through two seasons in the Windy City, Bennett has totaled 155 catches, 1,675 yards and 11 touchdowns.
For this, Bennett feels entitled to an upgraded contract. Under his current four-year, $20.4 million deal (h/t Spotrac) signed in 2013, Bennett is due a $4.9 million base salary and $100,000 in workout bonus in 2015.
The likelihood that the Bears are going to renegotiate a contract that Bennett still has two years to play out is slim. However, we can see where Bennett is coming from in his thinking. Bennett’s $5.1 salary pales in comparison to that of Seattle Seahawks’ tight end Jimmy Graham, who will earn $10 million this year. In fact, Bennett’s 2015 salary places him behind 11 other tight ends.
We’ll soon see if Fox’s words of confidence are true.
Photo: USA Today Images