Despite being under contract, it appears that a productive tight end will hit the market shortly.
According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bears are looking to trade veteran tight end Martellus Bennett prior to the opening of free agency on Wednesday.
This is not that surprising given Bennett's attitude towards his role on the team as of late.
The former Pro Bowl tight end boycotted the entire voluntary offseason program in 2015 in search of a new deal that never came. Bennett publicly criticized his role, and the team seems non-committal about his future.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox both brushed off questions about Bennett recently.
"I talked to him right at the end of the season," Pace said at the NFL scouting combine. "I haven't talked to him recently. Really with him, he's under contract. We have a lot of players that aren't under contract, so that's where our focus is right now."
Bennett was placed on injured reserve in early December after suffering a fractured rib. He finished the season with 53 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns.
Bennett is set to make$5.09 million this upcoming season, and the Bears could reduce that to $1.25 million against their salary cap for 2016 if they find a taker for him.
With Heath Miller having chosen retirement, maybe Bennett could help fill the void that the Steelers have at tight end, with only rookie Jesse James to lean on as of yet in 2016.
He could be a viable option with some maneuvering.
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