Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett takes $1 million pay cut

USA TODAY Sports

This offseason has not been ideal for the veteran wide receiver, who has been battling a concussion since early August.

Brian McIntire this morning tweeted that Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett has taken a one million dollar pay cut for the 2013 season.  He was due $2.25M for this year, but will now be paid $1.25M.

Bennett has been sidelined with a concussion for the last month, but is expected to play in the season opener this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

There were rumors and reports in the last few weeks that Chicago had been potentially shopping Bennett to other teams, but when general manager Phil Emery was asked about it, he seemed incredulous to those reports.

Bennett had signed a 5-year, $18.55M contract in December 2011, and McIntire clarifies that this pay cut was not a contract restructure.  The rest of his contract is untouched.

UPDATE: According to Jeff Dickerson, Bennett can earn that $1M back.

We won't likely know the details of the incentives, but suffice it to say that this is interesting considering the type of offseason the veteran wide receiver has had.  We know Jay Cutler trusts Bennett, but with the concussion and new offense in town, Bennett is going to have to earn his keep rather than relying on past performance.

The Bears will start Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at wide receiver, but we should see Bennett worked into the offense at some point versus the Bengals.

Stay tuned...

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