Martellus Bennett may have sabotaged options for Bears, himself


Martellus Bennett may have sabotaged options for Bears, himself

The Bears and Martellus Bennett are expected to be ending their association after the productive tight end successfully agitated for a chance for his agent to explore trades elsewhere.

But in the process, Bennett’s actions may boomerang and cost him both money and opportunity, making it harder for the Bears to trade him and for agent Kennard McGuire to find a taker.

Bennett refused to attend any of the Bears’ voluntary offseason programs last year. People noticed. Without saying so publicly, a handful of teams have removed Bennett from possible roster consideration.

[MORE: Bears beginning to narrow in on free agent target needs]

A handful of case studies should have shown Bennett what can result from different actions intended to force a change.

Consider several recent Bears-specific examples:

Thomas Jones

After the 2005 season, concluding that the Bears were committing to Cedric Benson, running back Thomas Jones demanded a trade. Then-GM Jerry Angelo, with Jones agent Tom Condon facilitating, had one in place, one that would have sent Jones to a team that would be the AFC entry in a Super Bowl very shortly.

But Jones abruptly changed agents and was advised to boycott the Bears’ offseason program. The trade offer, from a prominent AFC team executive, evaporated immediately. Jones was traded to the New York Jets the next year.

Jared Allen

As last season opened, for all of the offseason effort put in attempting the transition, it was painfully clear to Jared Allen that he was not getting it done in the Bears’ 3-4 defensive scheme. After the Seattle game, Allen talked to the Bears and was open to agent Ken Harris working something out with a handful of teams acceptable to Allen.

One of those teams was the Carolina Panthers. The Bears received a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft. Allen retired with an NFC Championship ring and trip to a Super Bowl.

Jon Bostic

Like Allen, Bostic was not working out in the Bears’ 3-4, not stout enough to hold onto one of the inside-linebacker spots and not with pass-rush skills to compete on the outside. Despite back problems that started during the 2014 season and kept Bostic largely out of the 2015 offseason programs, Bostic was a regular around Halas Hall.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots traded a sixth-round pick to the Bears in September for Bostic, who didn’t get a ring, was inactive in the postseason, but did cash two playoff-round checks.

One note here: Simply because Bennett was/is under contract shouldn’t be held against him whatsoever. Public outcry is swift with, “But he’s under contract” when a player holds out. But as Brian Urlacher once put in clear, simple terms, nobody seems to mind when teams cut players with time still left on contracts. “Contract” is a very fluid term in the NFL.

But holdouts aren’t always good business.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins


Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.