Monday is Bears tight end Martellus Bennett’s birthday, but the initial focus was on what his brother Michael was going to be doing in free agency as of Tuesday afternoon, when the Seattle defensive end is free to sign what is expected to be a multi-year contract with the team of his choice.
On NFLN’s inaugural “Bro 2 Bro” segment, with Martellus in Chicago and Michael in Seattle, Martellus renewed and upped his recruiting pitch for his brother to join him as a Bear. But when Michael was asked where talks and feelings stood, Michael offered no clue, no subtle hug for the Bears or anyone else.
“You’ve just got to stay tuned, like a suspenseful movie,” Michael said. “I’ve got to leave it suspenseful right now.”
Martellus was not content to leave it at that.
“The No. 1 thing is ‘family,’” Martellus declared. “You’re going to get paid wherever you get paid. But this is history: I don’t think there’s ever been two brothers that played on the same team.”
Money will be what it will be and the Bears have talked dollars, as have other suitors for the defensive end who delivered 8.5 sacks for the Super Bowl champions. Martellus pitched more than family and contract money.
“If the contract’s not the numbes that you want, you’ve got to think about off the field. We could do Doublemint [gum] commercials…Chicago has the best fans, unique city, lot of opportunities business-wise, and I know there’s a lot of things you want to do off the field after football. None of those things are texts or coffee, so Seattle, that’s what they’re offering you.”
“It’s a great point, a great argument,” Michael acknowledged, “but I’ve got to leave it suspenseful for the next couple hours, go home and make the right decision. It’s really hard because so many things key into the decision on where you’re future is really going to play.
“Hey, I love my brother and he’s one of the best tight ends in the league, so it’s going to be hard.”
Michael said that he has had other pitches, although one of those likely involved the Bears (or it would have, if it actually was made):
“[Chicagoan and President] Obama just called me,” Michael said. “I told him I’d get back to him later.”
Martellus tweeted a photo of Michael at age 12, wearing a Bulls jersey. Interesting timing.
“I have a lot of photos [of Michael],” Martellus said, “but I just wanted it known that somewhere down the timeline of Michael Bennett that Chicago was on his mind.”
Then to Michael: “It’s IN you. It’s not something new; it’s something that’s been there for a long time. You buy Jordans [gym shoes] all the time.”
Martellus suggested that Michael being in Chicago would be a natural marketing hook for Nike and its Jordans. Whether Michael is in on the deal will play out sooner rather than later, but Michael wasn’t hinting at his decision just yet.