Another spring holdout is coming to an end, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, who reports that Bears tight end Martellus Bennett reported to Halas Hall on Monday for the team’s mandatory June minicamp. Barring an unforeseen twist, Bennett will participate in practice when the Bears’ minicamp begins on Tuesday, tweets Dan Wiederer of the Tribune.
Bennett, 28, is coming off his best season, having racked up 90 receptions, 916 receiving yards, and six touchdowns for the Bears in 2014 — all of those figures were career-highs. The Pro Bowl campaign prompted Bennett to seek a new contract for the coming season, and he had been absent from Chicago’s OTAs while he sought that new deal.
Those OTAs, unlike this week’s minicamp, were voluntary, so Bennett won’t face any fines for not being in attendance. However, he was the only Bear who had missed the team’s offseason program up until this point under the new regime, which includes head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
Bennett is slated to earn about $5MM annually in 2015 and 2016, the final two years of his contract. While those are respectable salaries, Bennett presumably took notice of what happened on the free agent market this offseason, as players like Jordan Cameron and Charles Clay signed for $7.5MM per year — between them, Cameron and Clay combined for fewer catches than Bennett had in 2014. Additionally, Bennett’s salaries for the next two years are currently non-guaranteed.