Bears: Martellus Bennett's suspension leaves broader questions

Bears: Martellus Bennett's suspension leaves broader questions
August 5, 2014, 3:00 pm
Share This Post

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – When Martellus Bennett was asked on Monday about the possibility of his being fined for attacking cornerback Kyle Fuller after a play in practice, the tight end replied, “I can afford it.”

Then he added that he didn’t know what he would be fined for anyway.

He found out on Tuesday and is getting the chance to afford that fine as the Bears suspended and fined Bennett, who was not at camp amid growing questions about the situation which caused him to be “suspended for conduct detrimental to the team,” GM Phil Emery said on Tuesday.

Specifically, Bennett was suspended “for an undetermined length of time,” Emery said, adding that the team is in contact with Bennett. The Bears said that they want to have Bennett back as soon as possible but the indefinite length of the suspension suggests that he will not be welcomed back until some behavior and attitude changes are made.

[MORE - Who will be the Bears' No. 3 wide receiver?]

An indefinite suspension for a practice incident in which no players were injured and which ended as quickly as it started raised issues of whether Bennett was being disciplined for a pattern of offenses — he mixed it up with defensive end Lamarr Houston in OTA’s besides a number of dust-ups last year in camp — and whether a short suspension turned into an indefinite one because of a Bennett reaction to being informed of disciplinary action of any kind for his part in the incident.

Neither Emery nor coach Marc Trestman would elaborate on specifics behind the decision beyond that Bennett remains on the active roster but away from any team activities.

“I want you to know that we’re in communication with Marty,” Trestman said. “We’ve got a plan and a process in place. And as I told the team today, we love him. He works hard. He loves football. He’s a good father and we want to get him back as soon as we can and we’ll go through this process and when the time is right he’ll be back.” 

[MORE - Briggs knee bump opens critical window for Shea McClellin]

Trestman’s remarks also suggested that the team did not impose a fixed suspension – a day, a week, whatever – because some of the situation is dependent on Bennett’s conduct from this point forward.

“It’s a process,” Trestman said. “I can’t answer that other than to say it’s going to be one day at a time. I’m going to talk to Marty today, see where he’s at and continue to talk each and every day and make sure we have an open line of communication, which we have.”