Dec 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (80) celebrates after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bears Free Agency Rumors: Earl Bennett To Be Released

When the Chicago Bears signed wide receiver Domenik Hixon, the writing was on the wall that Earl Bennett or Eric Weems may be cut by the team.

On Tuesday, ESPN Chicago reported that Bennett is likely going to be released by the Bears. The reports states that Bennett was asked by the team to take a pay-cut but declined. With Bennett declining to take a decrease in pay, the Bears are expected to release Bennett in the near future.

When healthy, Bennett proved to be a dependable target for the Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler. While playing behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery last season, Bennett hailed in 32 passes for a total of 243 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. In his career, Bennett has 186 receptions for a total of 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In recent seasons, Bennett has served as the slot receiver in the Bears offense. Though, with the emergence of Marquess Wilson at the end of last season, Bennett became expendable for the Bears. Despite being expendable, Bears head coach Marc Trestman did seem to value what Bennett brought to the team.

This is the second straight off-season in which the Bears asked Bennett to take a reduction in pay. Bennett agreed to a reduction last season in a decision that likely kept him with the team at the time.

Tags: Chicago Bears Earl Bennett Nfl Free Agency

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