Tensions linger between Martellus Bennett, Bears

AP

The Chicago Bears have thrust themselves into playoff contention. Their effort to finish the job could be undermined by a lingering rift with tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett, who boycotted voluntary offseason workouts due to concerns about his contract, didn’t make the trip to Green Bay for last Thursday night’s win. As explained by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Bennett expressed frustration during practice last week regarding his role in the offense. That has created to suspicions that Bennett didn’t play last week not because of a rib injury but because of his attitude.

Bennett denied creating a scene at practice, but Biggs reports it happened.

I wasn’t pissed off,” Bennett said. “I didn’t play last week.”

He also didn’t watch the game, opting instead to wait for the film of the victory to be uploaded to his tablet. That admission, in and of itself, suggests that something is going on. How many players who aren’t with their teammates for a road game don’t actually watch the game involving their teammates — especially when it’s a prime-time game?

Coach John Fox declined to address whether he believes Bennett is upset.

“You will have to ask him about that,” Fox said, per Biggs. “I don’t know. I don’t really care. I get upset too. I think he is one of the top-five targeted tight ends in the league.”

Fox is accurate on that point; Bennett currently is fifth in total targets. But with 50 receptions in 2015, he’s off the pace he set in 2014, when he caught 90 balls.

Bennett’s frustrations possibly flow from the emergence of Zach Miller, who has four touchdown receptions in the last four games. Regardless, it’s obvious there’s an issue and the question for the offseason will be whether the Bears bring Bennett back for the final year of his current deal.

28 responses to “Tensions linger between Martellus Bennett, Bears

  1. He’s gone. Fox and Pace weren’t gonna tolerate Brandon Marshall’s B.S. and they’re done with Marty’s too. They’re either gonna draft a TE in the 3rd or 4th round or they’re gonna stick with the TEs they’ve got and re-jigger the offense to take advantage of their skills and make up for the blocking they’ll lose with Marty.

  2. While Bennett’s “frustrations” were more justified when he was with the Cowboys, he’s NEVER really been a TEAM player, why would that suddenly change now?

  3. spartyistheclassofthenationinfootballandbasketball says:
    Dec 3, 2015 10:20 AM

    In what alternate universe are the Bears playoff contenders this year?

    _____________________________________

    A much closer one than the embarrassing Lions are this year.

  4. Marty B just being Marty B. He always has something to bitch about, someone else is always the problem.

    As is always, if he would just shut up and put in the work he would be a top 10 TE in the league. But he is too immature.

  5. spartyistheclassofthenationinfootballandbasketball says:
    Dec 3, 2015 10:20 AM

    In what alternate universe are the Bears playoff contenders this year?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A lot more favored contenders then the fluke, pathetic Lions.

  6. Marty plays for Marty and any team who signs him probably knows that going in. The Bears got him at a fair bargain when they signed him and after his huge year last year he wanted more money. No big deal. A lot of guys do that but now he’s beginning to pay the price for his absence from the OTAs. He’s still the big frog in the pond but now he’s not the ONLY frog and he realizes his falling production hurts his bargaining position.

    With Marty is all about the “show me the money”. The team itself is secondary because the Bears are his third team and soon there’ll probably be a fourth team. I like Marty and I like his skills but he’s not irreplaceable. Miller is a more explosive and craftier receiver and Khari Lee is a young guy who could become a good all around TE.

    This spring I look to Pace to get serious about trying to trade him for a high draft pick but if not we still have him for one more year at a good price and he’ll play because he has to if he expects to get any offers as a Free Agent. Marty is just one of those guys you have to put up with until you no longer need him.

  7. A head case with a large body and good hands but a bit slow. Not taking the Bears anywhere this year or next so get something for him and send him on to somewhere else to have his media days.

  8. soul969:
    Excellent assessment all around.

    I’d hate to see him with GB because all of a sudden he’d want to start playing football again.

    Bennett was targeted many time in the Denver game and seemed to not be focused in the beginning. In a 2 point loss, one could say his lack of concentration cost the Bears another big upset.

  9. A contract is a contract…….I would force him to play next year. It will only hurt his value as a free agent if he does not play or play well.

  10. The poor guy is barely making more than 6MM/year.
    I’d be mad too.
    Who wants:
    1 – to be a multi-millionaire
    2 – play a sport professionally, especially a sport like football

    I’d rather make a tiny fraction of that, and sit and watch the game on TV. Not!

  11. Letting him walk for nothing doesn’t make any sense. It’s been my problem with this current regime. Got literally NOTHING for Marshall leaving, felt they had to draft a WR high when the defense totally needs more talent, and have nothing to show for that either. I’m all for getting the right people with the right mind set for your team. But letting him go and end up someplace else could do a lot more harm then good. Plus this O-line is not where it needs to be hence the problem he’s having with his role in the offense. He’s being left in to block more than he should be. Send him packing and there will be a lot more issues with the offense with regards to protection and production.

  12. Maybe, just maybe he’s p’d off because he’s hurt and can’t play. The only direct quote we’ve heard from about Zach was how excited he was for him after the Charger game. He’s one of the best TE’s in football and the Bears are MUCH better when he’s on the field. He flew under the radar a bit last year but all-pro receivers draw double coverage that open up the other guys. His catch count is down this year but there’s no doubt that the run game suffers when he’s not on the field. There’s no point to creating controversy in your own heads.

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