Martellus Bennett in a “Funk”
Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett is in a funk. Let’s hope he snaps out of it before Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
It has been a difficult year for Martellus Bennett. He started the OTA’s by “holding out” to gain leverage for a new contract. GM Ryan Pace all but ignored his demands, and finally Bennett showed up in training camp. His play for the most part has been inconsistent, with dropped passes, lackluster blocking and at times totally invisible. Last week against the Packers, he was held out due to an injury to his ribs.
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Some doubt that is the real case, but that Bennett has been brooding and in a mental funk. It has been reported recently, that Bennett is upset by his not being utilized fully in the red zone. It is well known that Pace and head coach John Fox are no-nonsense kind of people and there is a growing sense Martellus is on the way out.
This is not the first time Bennett has butted heads with organizations. He was drafted in the second round by the Cowboys. He had an excellent rookie season, but never really developed in Dallas and many thought he was not focused enough. After his rookie contract expired he moved on to the Giants. He arrived overweight but also was controversial with some of his comments that raised eyebrows. One and done in New York, the Bears signed him to a 4 year $20+ million deal. 2016 is his last year on the Bears deal, he will get $5M plus $1M+ guaranteed.
So what do the Bears do? The next five games will dictate if Bennett returns or not. Trade him and expect a 5th or 6th rounder at the best. Let him play out his contract and hope he plays “lights out” to garner a good UDFA deal somewhere else. Either way, Bennett is slowly wearing out his welcome in Chicago, ala Brandon Marshall.
In other news, Kevin White went all out in his last practice. He ran at full speed and took his routes. He has been quoted, “itching to play” and he expects to be on the field in 2015. He did admit that is leg was “tight” and still not back to full strength. Regardless of how Kevin feels, it will be ultimately up to the doctors and John Fox to decide. Some believe if the Bears are still in the playoff hunt and he is ready he might see some action.
The reality is regardless of his situation the Bears can ill afford to push or hurry a first round draft pick. This is one of those time caution and conservatism is needed. The good news is that White is rapidly improving and that is good news for next season, even if he see’s some action late in the year.
Bears host the 49’ers and are seven point favorites. First time the Bears are favorites this season.
Most analysts pick the Bears to win, and hopefully that is not the kiss of death for an upset.
On the Power ranking front, the Bears are sitting roughly at 15th position.
Injury news: Both Martellus Bennett and Ka’Deem Carey were full participants in Wednesday’s practice. Antrel Rolle and Eddie Royal did not practice.