The Chicago Bears are trading tight end Martellus Bennett to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round draft pick, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The teams are finalizing a deal, but the Patriots will also receive a sixth-round draft choice in exchange for Bennett, according to sources.
The Patriots have traditionally preferred to run a multiple tight-end offense, which hit its peak in 2011 with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. In 2015, the club thought it had a strong 1-2 punch with Gronkowski and Scott Chandler, who was signed as a free agent, but Chandler didn't pan out after inking a two-year contract worth a maximum value of $5.3 million.
The Bears found a taker in the Patriots, who have been searching for an athletic tight end to fill the Aaron Hernandez role in the offense. Bennett will play second fiddle to Rob Gronkowski, and will likely trail Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis in targets. Bennett's departure opens the door for starter's snaps for Zachary Miller in Chicago. Miller could post TE1 numbers after coming on strong down the stretch last season.
The tight end position is one of great intrigue as the Patriots enter 2015. Ever since Aaron Hernandez was cut, the Pats have been looking for that No. 2 tight end to pair with Rob Gronkowski.
Scott Chandler isn't a "move" tight end, though. At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, he's similar to Gronk. He's a massive in-line tight end and a matchup problem for all safeties.
The addition of Chandler could mean more snaps at wide receiver for Gronk. The Pats offense was particularly effective a year ago when both Gronk and Julian Edelman were split together on one side.
Keep an eye on Fred Davis here, too. In the midst of the Deflategate madness, the Pats signed the troubled tight end to a one-year deal. It's a flier, for sure, but Davis is a "move" tight end with plenty of talent and plenty of past off-the-field issues.
Chandler is no slouch. He produced in spots for the Bills and while he doesn't fit the profile of a typical "move" TE, the Pats could elect to use Gronk in that role while leaving Chandler inside.
Former Redskins franchise TE Fred Davis and New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per source.
Davis was suspended in 2014 following multiple off-the-field incidents. The Patriots have been aggressive at the tight end position this offseason by signing Scott Chandler and now Davis. It appears the team would like to get back to more of those two-TE sets they ran with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The 29-year-old Davis has receiving chops -- he caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games in 2011, and had a 48-509-6 season in 2009.
Oct 11, 2014 · 7:53 AM EDT
Pats TE Tim Wright doesn’t have to be the next Aaron Hernandez.
But if Wright can keep the good times going after last Sunday’s breakout game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Patriots will once again have a tight end tandem to remind everyone of the way it used to be.
Rob Gronkowski was surprisingly electric against the Bengals, busting out with six receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown, and he made his greatest strides from a physical standpoint. If Gronkowski and Wright can continue to play off one another, quarterback Tom Brady’s offense will have an element it had lost in the season’s opening month.
The trend should continue against the Buffalo Bills, who have allowed the seventh-most tight end catches per game (5.6) this season.
Wright caught three passes on seam routes up the left side — a 30-yarder, a 17-yard touchdown while absorbing a hard shot, and a 25-yarder when Brady looked for Wright after diagnosing a flaw in the linebackers’ coverage scheme, the story said. Because Brady hasn’t gotten consistent production from anyone other than Gronkowski and Julian Edelman this season, Wright’s ability to take a hit to score will help the cause in the future. Wright is worth an add if you're struggling at the position but this is probably still a bit of a wait-and-see situation. While there seems to be no reason for the Pats to go away from two TEs and Wright, their game plan week-to-week always seems to be opponent-specific.