NFL teams aren't officially allowed to sign free agents to contracts until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, but conversations are now allowed after the league instituted a three-day talking period leading up to free agency.
And one player the Bears appear to have genuine interest in is none other than Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, the brother of Bears tight end Martellus Bennett.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are in play for Bennett, who is one of the top pass rushers available on the open market.
Martellus's big brother Michael came to the NFL without much fanfare. Due to inconsistencies at Texas A&M, he went undrafted in 2009 and was picked up by the Seahawks following the draft. He spent time on their practice squad before finding a home in Tampa Bay for three seasons. He recorded a career-high nine sacks in 2012 and parlayed that into a one-year, $4.8 million deal with Seattle in 2013. And after an 8.5 sack season and Super Bowl ring on his résumé, he's looking to cash in during this free agency period.
It's no surprise that the Bears are interested in Michael as Phil Emery has indicated the team's plan to rebuild their defense this offseason. The $10 million salary cap increase could also help the Bears bring the former Seahawk in the fold.
The Bears have already made a few moves on the defensive line since the 2013 season ended by re-signing tackle Jeremiah Ratliff and adding ends Austen Lane and Trevor Scott.