The Bears and tight end Martellus Bennett hadn’t made up as of Friday morning, but the sidelights to Bennett’s eruption during practice this week do require a bit of further investigation.
Bennett’s attack on rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller after a practice tackle resulted in disciplinary action against Bennett, who was fined and suspended indefinitely after meeting with team officials. Along with that came whispers than Bennett was an attitude problem in Dallas and New York, and that the Cowboys and Giants “couldn’t wait to get rid of him,” according to one NFL observer.
Bennett said that he opted out of Dallas for the opportunity to move out of Jason Witten’s shadow, and he left New York because the Bears were offering a four-year deal vs. the Giants being tight against the cap. “The Giants lost a tight end they wanted to keep,” wrote New York Daily News beat writer Ralph Vacchiano at the time.
That was confirmed by Bennett agent Kenard McGuire: “It is indeed factual that the Cowboys did offer Martellus a stronger contract, but it truly was Martellus’ decision to look for a starting opportunity. And not only did the Giants afford that opportunity, he excelled at it, and thusly the Giants offered him value to stay there as well.”
None of which excuses or is intended to justify Bennett’s actions toward Fuller, or any insubordination or other disrespect that might have factored into the suspension. But sometimes it’s good to set the record straight.