From 2010 to 2012, the Patriots featured a dynamic duo with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, and NFL defenses simply couldn't deal with New England's flexibility. Following the 2012 season, Aaron Hernandez went out and started killing people, so needless to say the dynamic duo became the Gronkowski show because Hernandez was in prison. Last year the Patriots signed Scott Chandler, and they fully expected him to help bring the two-tight end offense back, but it didn't work out and they released him. It appears that New England hasn't given up their pursuit of a second strong tight end as they traded a fourth round pick to the Bears for Martellus Bennett and a sixth rounder.
Bennett, 29, is entering his ninth season in the NFL after being selected 61st overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Bennett played four seasons with the Cowboys, one with the Giants, and he played his last three seasons with the Bears. Bennett held out during the 2015 preseason and hasn't been a happy camper in Chicago and wanted out, so New England took advantage of the situation and now has the second tight end they've coveted for four years.
Bennett has started 88 of 119 career games, piling up 348 receptions, 3,586 yards, and 23 touchdowns. His best season came in 2014 when he finished with 90 catches, 916 yards, and six touchdowns. Bennett has started every game but two over the last four seasons (59 total games, 57 starts) and has proven to be one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL. Bennett is in the final year of his contract, and his cap hit will be $5,185,000. Bennett, who is 6'5, 275 pounds, isn't the same type of player Aaron Hernandez was, but he'll still make the Patriots offense even more difficult to defend.
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