Last season, there was some chatter that Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was unhappy with his situation. It all seemed like speculation, but this offseason, reports have picked up that the team might trade or release Bennett. Adam Schefter is now reporting the two sides are working to try get a trade done that would be mutually agreeable.
Bennett is signed through the 2016 season, and has a cap hit of $6.3 million. If the Bears trade or release Bennett, they would save $5,185,000 in cap space, and only carry a dead money hit of $1,125,000. A team trading for Bennett would take on his $5,085,000 salary, and a $100,000 workout bonus.
The 49ers tight end situation currently consists of Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, Je'Ron Hamm, and Busta Anderson. I don't see that being the complete depth chart when training camp gets started. Chip Kelly likes his tight ends, so that is something that could potentially appeal to Bennett. The 49ers have plenty of other questions, so it is entirely possible Bennett would nix a deal.
Bennett missed five games last season due to a rib injury, eventually ending up on injured reserve. He finished the season with 53 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns. That came a year after a career season in which he finished with 90 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns. He's not a game-breaking tight end, but he's a very solid component for an offense.
If the 49ers could get him for a relatively inexpensive draft pick, and assuming he can fit in with what Chip Kelly is going to do, I could see Trent Baalke potentially pulling the trigger. But I also don't know how the 49ers feel about their current crop of tight ends. We know they like Celek, and Blake Bell flashed some things last year. Vance McDonald is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and has been inconsistent at best. Maybe the 49ers decide to find another option for this offense.