The Chicago Bears are heading into mandatory minicamp with no idea if Martellus Bennett will show up and a trade couple be possible in the future if he continues his contract holdout for a new deal and the team could look at Tim Wright as a free agent option or push Zach Miller after he signed and this comes as Matt Forte has Jeremy Langford coming in for depth on offense.
The Bears and Bennett have not been able to agree on a new deal and the tight end is looking for an extension or a new contract coming into this season. According to the Chicago Tribune, Bennett has not been present for any OTA workouts and the Bears currently are "not likely" giving Bennett a new contract. Bleacher Report wrote last month that Jason Cole said the Bears are "more than willing" to let Bennett hold out for a new deal, but that they likely will not pay up with a new contract.
Matt Forte has been in a similar situation, as he is coming into the final year of his deal and has been looking for an extension. Forte has shown up for workouts and he said that he is not planning a holdout even though he wants a new deal. The Bears start minicamp that is mandatory on June 16 and ESPN Chicago reports that "the most likely outcome" for Bennett is that he eventually shows up to camp. Bennett has two years left on his deal for $10 million and he comes in after putting up career highs across the board last season.
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson reported earlier in the offseason that the money on Bennett's contract makes him tough to trade, so the Bears may sit tight and wait to see what he does in camp. According to Adam Schefter at ESPN, the Patriots waived Tim Wright and there is a chance the Bears could put a claim on him with Bennett out. Bennett has played in all 16 games the past three seasons (two with the Bears, one with Giants) and last year he had his best season, making 90 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns while playing with Jay Cutler.
Wright could be a solid replacement with Dante Rosario and Zach Miller behind Bennett, while the Bears also could push Miller as the starter until the situation with Bennett gets resolved. Miller signed in the offseason to a one year deal as he was set to be a free agent and this is another Zach Miller and not the one who played for the Seahawks and the Raiders. This Miller has not played since 2011 in the NFL since he was with the Jaguars, but he did have a strong preseason last year for Chicago.
The Bears offense has Jeremy Langford and Kevin White coming in as rookies and they should give Jay Cutler some strong depth behind Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte. Cutler had tough season last year, but he set career highs in completion percentage and TD passes and with John Fox coming in, he could have a bounce back year. Forte was overworked last season and getting Langford could help keep him fresh as he heads to the age of 30 by the end of the season.