Remember when Earl Bennett used to be Jay Cutler’s top target? Those days seem very long ago and are going to be even more distant now that it appears the Bears will be parting ways with the veteran wide receiver after he refused to take another pay cut. Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago first reported the news:
— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) March 18, 2014
Bennett had to eat some humble pie and take a $1 million pay cut last season as his role with the Bears and their offense continued to fade with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery taking over the top wide receiver roles. Last season Bennett had 32 catches on 44 targets, including 4 touchdowns. Bennett got a hefty raise at the end of the 2011 season, when the Bears had money to burn, and signed Bennett to a four-year, $18 million deal.
The move will free up nearly $2.5 million in cap space and elevates second year wide receiver Marquess Wilson to the #3 wide receiver spot.
The Bears have also asked special teamer and reserve wide receiver Eric Weems to accept a pay cut, but no word yet on what will become of Weems and his $1 cap hit. The addition of WR and special teamer Domenik Hixon gives the Bears some flexibility in the move with Weems.
Times they are a changin’ at Halas Hall. What do you think of the move? Will you miss Bennett and his orange cleats?