What are two things the Chicago Bears want (and need) to do?
Protect Jay Cutler, and have some better receivers–outside of Brandon Marshall–for Cutler to have as targets. They could do both and utilize a position that has been sorely overlooked lately in Chicago–the tight end.
In 2012 only one tight end on the Bears’ roster–Kellen Davis–had more than 10 receptions (Davis had 19), and he’s now gone to the Cleveland Browns. Bears GM Phil Emery has made a lot of moves during this offseason, but the move that may prove to be one of the biggest is the acquisition of former Dallas Cowboys/New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett.
Lots of teams went out and nabbed themselves a top-flight quarterback, wide receiver or running back. Let’s face it, those three skill positions are always going to get the most attention and find the most suitors.
More teams probably should have taken a closer look at Bennett.
At 6’7 and 248 lbs, Bennett is a huge target, and was vastly overlooked in the Cowboys offense (but after all, Dallas did have Jason Witten). He’s a big speedy guy, built in the mold of a Jay Novacek or Tony Gonzalez, with great hands and balance. He muddled through four middling years with the Cowboys, serving generally as a blocker in a two tight end set, or as relief for Witten.
The Giants got a little more use out of Bennett, with Eli Manning finding the big tight end 55 times for 626 yards and five touchdowns. Why he wasn’t retained in New York is still a mystery in my book. Manning needs all the help he can get
The Bears got themselves some serious help with this pickup. Bennett has developed into one of the best blocking tight ends in the league (and with his size, that would be hard to argue), as well as proving with the Giants that he’s not slow of foot, and can be a dangerous receiver.
— Martellus Bennett (@JoeGryffindor) March 12, 2013
In addition, as shown in the tweet above, Bennett and Brandon Marshall are already good friends (no, they aren’t really brothers), so becoming quickly adjusted and accepted in the Chicago locker room will be an easy task.
By the way, Bennett is quite the humorist. I highly recommend following his tweets. He’ll be a breath of fresh air for the Bears’ organization. He might even loosen up Cutler a little.
The Bears had a lot of holes to fill this season, and still do, but grabbing a talented and massive tight end like Bennett will serve to help in multiple roles and will make what is evolving into a potent offense even better. Bears fans should look forward to seeing Bennett’s role in the offense put together by new head coach Marc Trestman.
By far, the Bears’ best addition in 2013.