It appears that the Martellus Bennett era in Chicago is coming to an end. A recent report from ESPN's Adam Schefter claims that the Bears are working with Bennett's agent, Kennard McGuire, to work out a trade to "an agreeable landing spot."
Bennett skipped the voluntary part of the offseason workout program last year, with the notion that the Bears would re-do his contract. But with two years left on his deal at the time, Bennett really had no leverage. Now with only one year remaining on his original 4 year contract, the Bears appear to have decided that he's not worth the potential distraction.
Last year Bears' general manager Ryan Pace managed to get a 6th round draft pick for aging pass rusher Jared Allen and a 6th for disappointing linebacker Jon Bostic, so if anyone can squeeze some value out of Bennett, it's Pace.
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs is reporting that if a trade can't be worked out, the Bears will release Bennett.
Fully expect if #Bears cannot find trade partner for Martellus Bennett, that they end up releasing him. Some around NFL doubt trade happens.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 4, 2016
Bennett increasingly frustrated coaches and teammates and things got off the rails in practice before Thanksgiving game at #Packers— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 4, 2016
Really would have been a surprise had it not come to this point. And this makes TE one of many priorities for #Bears— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 4, 2016
Once Bennett is gone, that leaves Khari Lee, Marcus Lucas and Gannon Sinclair as the only TEs on the roster. Free agent tight end Zach Miller suddenly has the leverage he needs to get that $5 million per season he's seeking.