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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Martellus Bennett is Bears' answer at TE

By Kevin Seifert

Bennett
The first unofficial free-agent signing in the NFC North goes to the Chicago Bears, who are bringing in tight end Martellus Bennett for a visit Tuesday night and have an agreement in principle on a multi-year contract, according to ESPNChicago.com among other outlets.

Bennett broke through with a career year after moving from the Dallas Cowboys to the New York Giants last season, catching 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns. To be fair, he also tied for the NFL's 11th-worst drop percentage (7.8) among qualified receivers, according to ESPN Stats & Information, an issue to consider as the Bears look to re-incorporate the tight end into their passing offense.

With that said, Bennett is a clear upgrade over 2012 starter Kellen Davis and gives the Bears a legitimate threat at the position for the first time since they traded away Greg Olsen in 2011. As a so-called "complete" tight end, Bennett can be on the field no matter what type of play the Bears have called.

It's not immediately clear what will happen to Davis and backup Matt Spaeth. But last season, Bears tight ends finished last in the NFL with a combined 33 receptions. General manager Phil Emery made it clear in January that upgrading the position was an offseason priority. Consider it all but done.