Martellus Bennett didn’t get to experience the full grasp of winning, until joining the New England Patriots in 2016.
But it’s not as though he was completely at fault.
Prior to joining the Patriots, Bennett had pieced together a productive eight-year NFL career. As a two-way tight end, he stayed in for pass and run blocking, while also being a threat in the passing game for several teams.
But it wasn’t until he was traded from the Bears to the Patriots where it all came together – he caught a career-high seven touchdowns and posted a 12.7 yards per reception average that hadn’t been that high since his 2013 season with the Bears.
As a refresher, Bennett played three years (the most productive seasons of his career, to this point) for the Bears and was the top tight end option for a majority of his time with the team – which included a Pro Bowl appearance in 2014. He averaged 69 catches, 705 receiving yards and five touchdowns as one of Jay Cutler’s most targeted options in Chicago.
In fact, it wasn’t until Zach Miller put together the healthiest stretch of his career in 2015 when Bennett was unseated at the top of the depth chart. Which is partially why, in March 2016, the Bears sent Bennett (and a sixth-round pick) to New England for a fourth-round selection – which turned out to be cornerback Deiondre’ Hall (pick No. 127 overall).
But when the Patriots won the AFC and punched their ticket to the Super Bowl, many hoped that setting would provide the platform for Bennett to explain his side of the messy breakup between he and the Bears. And they were right.
Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times caught up with Bennett at Super Bowl week, who said he had no ill will toward the Bears.
From the always-quotable Bennett, via the Sun-Times: “There were a lot of [things] I could’ve done differently and a lot of [things] that could’ve been done differently. It was just one of those things — you date somebody, and you don’t really break up, but it was the best move for both sides. I have no hard feelings toward Chicago or the management or anything like that. So I wish them the best of luck.”
Of course, it’s easy to be that guy when your team is playing in the Super Bowl. Not to mention being nearly four months removed from slamming the Bears publicly. Apparently, winning does cure all – even sports-related amnesia.
With that out of the way, we can officially close the book on Bennett vs. Bears – until the next time the tight end speaks out.