Found July 24, 2013 on
On the first day of free agency the Chicago Bears made a big splash by adding tight end Martellus Bennett to the roster to replace the dearly departed Kellen Davis. Bennett was the best all around TE on the market and a very close friend of Brandon Marshall which helped both ends get the deal done. Bennett fulfills a major need for the Bears offense and adds yet another target for Jay Cutler to throw to.
Bennett graded out as the fifth best overall TE in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus' metrics. He can block and he can make plays down the field in the passing games. He's nearly an ideal player for the position and the Bears are lucky to have him. He racked up 55 catches over 600 yards and 5 TDs in his first full season as a starter. The anticipation is that he'll continue that onward trajectory and potentially wind up being a Pro Bowl level player.
This signing however doesn't come without risks to go with the potential. Bennett was also tied for the second worst catch percentage in the NFL at 61-percent . The player who was ahead of him was Kellen Davis in the 44-percent range which is god awful.
Bennett needs to improve his consistency as a receiver so that he can fully reach his potential and be the player the Bears deserve. Bennett wound up with eight drops on the season according to FootballOutsiders, including five in the first two games of the season by my count. He has a world of potential, but he has to be careful not to backslide in any of his production.
Even more concerning is what happens if Bennett goes down with an injury for a couple of games or even worse the season? Who do the Bears have that can step up and be a play-maker in his absence. The depth behind him is non-existent.
Steve Manerri was brought in to be a Matt Spaeth type of blocking TE who has very little experience as a receiver. He signed a two year contract because the Bears could no longer afford to keep Spaeth around. He shouldn't be taking any receiving reps away from the two potential pass catchers left on the roster.
The coaching staff has raved about raved about Fendi Onobun a former college basketball player turned football player. Onobun is already on his third team in the NFL but has shown a lot of promise according to various reports. While Onobun may be a top athlete at the position they are still a lot of questions surrounding his overall receiving skills, blocking skills and route running ability. It's one thing for him to look good running around in his T-shirt and underwear, an entirely different thing to be consistently doing it in pads and in the games.
Kyle Adams has stuck around on the Bears practice squad and 53-man roster each of the last two years. Adams is the dark horse in the competition to be Bennett's primary backup. He has to show consistency each and every time he's on the field to get more reps in the passing game. Adams needs to show he belongs and this is the year to do it. No one is asking him to be a great player, he just needs to take his game to another level and surpass the two questionable players in front of him. Adams may not have the raw talent, but he's the best candidate to be an all-around TE after Bennett.
BEST OF MAXIM
Former 1st round pick Sedrick Ellis has reportedly informed the Bears, who he signed with in June, that he will be retiring.
Sedrick Ellis, the defensive tackle who signed with the Bears last month, won’t go to Chicago after all. -Pro Football Talk July 25th
The news comes as a bit of a shock as Ellis has no known major health concerns.
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