Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery today held an impromptu press conference in the middle of practice today to announce that Martellus Bennett has been fined and suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.
“Last night we made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time. He was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team,” Emery said. “This is a process that we are working with Martellus, we are in contact with him. Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible. He’s a very loved and respected teammate. We want him back but it’s a process that we have to work through. He will remain on the active 90-man roster but he will not be involved in any team activities at this time.”
This comes on the heels of yesterday’s on-field fight in which Bennett slammed first-round cornerback Kyle Fuller to the ground for trying to strip the ball away – something defenders are taught to do on every snap in practice.
This was not Bennett’s first offense. In training camp last year, Bennett took on the entire secondary in a fistfight and he was involved in two scuffles that we know about during OTAs.
Bennett’s attitude after the fact, showing no remorse, likely didn’t help his cause. When asked about being fined, he responded: “I can afford it.”
Bennett is not currently with the team and there is no timetable for his return.
“I want you to know that we’re in communication with Marty,” coach Marc Trestman said after today’s practice. “I’ll be talking with him today. We’ve got a plan and a process in place. And as I told the team today, we love him. He works hard. He loves football. He’s a good father and we want to get him back as soon as we can and we’ll go through this process and when the time is right he’ll be back.”
Bennett surely deserved his punishment but his absence was clearly evident during practice this morning. With him out, the Bears turned to Dante Rosario and Matthew Mulligan, neither of whom are anywhere near Bennett’s talent level.
The good news is Bennett will be back. If the fine and suspension work, he won’t be attempting to hurt first-round picks any time in the near future, which is good for everyone.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.