Rumors about Martellus Bennett‘s future with the Bears are starting to pick up steam, with NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reporting that “it would be a surprise if Bennett returned” to the Bears in 2016.
This, of course, is contrary to what I suggested in my Chicago Bears 2016 Predictions. Rapoport suggests that with the emergence of Zach Miller as one of Jay Cutler‘s go-to threats last season, Bennett and his $5 million-plus salary become expendable.
There are a few concerns with this logic, though. For starters, Miller is 31 years old and is no spring chicken. He also missed three seasons with injuries and can’t seem to put together a full healthy season. He’s not quite the blocker that Bennett is. And on top of it all, Miller could be seeking a big free agent contract at about $5 million as well, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
If the Bears decide to part ways with Bennett, it’ll have more to do with his personality and awkward fit into the new culture of John Fox’s all-football mindset than it will be about his ratio of performance to paycheck.