Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (80) celebrates after catching a pass in the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Earl Bennett set to be released, Marquess Wilson next man up

Most of us expected the Chicago Bears to cut ties with No. 3 WR Earl Bennett this offseason due to his $2.35 million base salary next season that escalates to $2.5-3 million in 2015. Although Bennett’s salary is cheap on the surface, he hasn’t been productive ever since being a decent wideout in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and it was always time for the Bears to move on. Exacerbating the likelihood of Bennett’s chances of being released was the quiet emergence of wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who is heading into the second year of his career and has plenty of raw talent. A potentially great WR3 behind superstar duo Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Wilson has all the tools to make the Bears offense even more deadly.

It’s not surprising to hear ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson report that the Bears are expected to cut ties with Bennett after he was unwilling to take a paycut. I don’t think they asked him to take a paycut until relatively recently, but I have a feeling this was in the works for some time. The Bears probably didn’t expect Bennett to take a paycut, and it will be interesting to see if he can fetch that kind of money with a team like the Carolina Panthers.

Dickerson also reports that Wilson “has emerged” as the team’s WR3, and this should surprise less people. Wilson is somebody to watch for closely this offseason, and I will keep a close eye on him in August via training camp reports and preseason games.

Tags: Chicago Bears Earl Bennett Marquess Wilson Transactions

  • David A Maupin

    In a year or two Wilson has the ability to be a ass old number 2 on most teams and even a number 1 on some teams lacking a true number 1. I believe he will jump up his stats in a similar way Alshon did last year. He is a stud and has been working out this off-season at the B MArsh camp along with Alshon and Cutty. The same camp that helped improved Alshon. The bears are going to be the team with the best duo of wide receivers to the team with the best trio if they all stay healthy. Wilson just needs experience and add a little weight and can be a huge upgrade from Earl Bennett. He compares to Marques Colston from the Saints. CAN’T WAIT

    • Joe Soriano

      I’m not ready to give that kind of praise to Wilson, but I’m not going to deny that he has that potential.
      Will he fulfill that potential? That’s going to be interesting to see, and there’s no doubt that he should be a fun player to watch this year. Really glad the Bears decided to make this move, and it was almost a no-brainer.

  • Fred

    I got it, Bennett isn’t great, and lately apparently not even good. But the Bucs need a slot receiver, or even just a third guy to push Mike Williams and maybe compete with him for the #2 spot. Mike Williams CAN be better but he’s been staying in a lot of hot water and ended last year on IR. So let’s push him. Is Bennett better than Tiquan Underwood, Bucs current free ageny who has been cut by the Bucs twice before and brought back due to injuries? Yes, I think Bennett is. So long Tiquan…been fun, but moving on. Alternatively, still hoping Bucs sign Meachem or Lance Moore.

    • Randy Challenge

      Bennett is a hell of a receiver guy runs great routes, has amazing hands, and is a lot faster than people give him credit for. Earl is the perfect possession receiver talent and his skill set have never been the issues it’s staying on the field something he’s never been able to do. He’s pretty much Danny Amendola if a team picks him up uses him and he stays healthy he’s a great addition to any team who needs a guy who flat out catches everything.

      • Fred

        Well then, I hope they grab him fast.