Being Jay Cutler‘s teammate at Vanderbilt and being one of the most productive receivers in SEC history just isn’t translating with the Chicago Bears. Earl Bennett’s contributions and production are terrible. Even with Brandon Marshall commanding double teams, Bennett was a non-factor through the season. Now granted, he was injured at points last season, but 2012 was a forgettable season for the self-proclaimed Agent Orange.
It would be one thing if Bennett wasn’t highly paid, but the Bears are locked into three more years and eight million dollars in pay. To put this in perspective, Bennett is the 38th highest paid receiver in football. He was 119th in receiving yards (putting him behind Titus Young, who’s been released twice).
At best, Bennett is a third wide receiver. Quite frankly, that’s a stretch even at this point. Plus, let’s use the old eye test. Bennett doesn’t make himself a target. On several of his routes last season, he couldn’t create separation in coverage and failed to fight for the football. His route running and vision on the field leave a lot to be desired.
Now granted, he was coached by Darryl Drake, who could screw up a cup of coffee. Bears head coach Marc Trestman would rather not have a receivers’ coach than Drake. And it’s hard to blame him. I’ve been calling for Drake’s head for years and finally he’s gone, but even the greatest coach can’t teach football IQ. Some of Bennett’s issues may be fixed through coaching, but I’m afraid there’s more to the story. With many potentially better wide receivers hitting free agency, the Bears may be in their best interest to go another direction.