ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Chicago Bears are trying to trade tight end Martellus Bennett.
This news should come as no surprise to Bears fans who have been paying attention the past three months.
The Bears cleaned house last off-season, hiring a new GM and coaching staff. The first thing Bennett did, before ever even meeting his new coaches, was skip voluntary off-season workouts because of his desire for a new contract. You cannot start off on a worse foot than that.
He then failed to produce on the field, showing little desire to block and not winning a single 50/50 ball all year. Consider this: Zach Miller tied Bennett in receiving yardage (439) but did it with 19 fewer catches.
After injuring his rib, Bennett stayed home instead of accompanying the team for their Week 10 tilt against the Green Bay Packers. The following week, he admitted to not even watching the game on TV. Shortly after, tensions boiled over with him blowing up in practice - a common occurence for Bennett - which compelled the Bears to send him home for good. His IR designation due to a "rib injury" was just a convenient way for the Bears to get Bennett's cancerous attitude away from the locker room.
Bennett is only 28 years old and can still perform at a high level, when he wants to. There might be a team or two willing to give the Bears a 5th- or 6th-round pick in exchange, although the clock is ticking, as the 2016 league year officially begins next Wednesday, March 9.
If they can't find a trade partner, I fully expect the Bears to waive him. In that scenario, they would save $5.185 million in cap space.
Bennett's inevitable departure has been a long time coming. To replace him, the Bears will either re-sign Zach Miller, who is reportedly looking for $5 million next year, or sign a cheaper option in free agency. They'll also be searching this year's draft class for a young tight end.