TE Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett isn’t a pending free agent, but there is a strong sense coming out of Chicago that he will be cut by the Bears. And Ted Thompson prefers to target free agents who have been let go by their former team. See: Julius Peppers. Signing players off the street doesn’t impact the compensatory picks formula, meaning the Packers wouldn’t risk losing out on future draft picks.
Bennett is a talented tight end and has become a safety blanket for Jay Cutler over the years. The Packers know first-hand just how good he is. The 28-year-old had a down year in 2015, but he was plagued with injuries that sidelined him for five games.
Bennett has reportedly been frustrated with his current deal in Chicago and is seeking more money. With a year left on his contract, there’s a chance young GM Ryan Pace moves on from Bennett as he did with Brandon Marshall a year ago. Pace is focused on building a young Bears roster, and Bennett might be more suited for a team ready to contend for championships.
If he is in fact cut by the Bears, Thompson should pick up the phone and get a gage for his price tag.