Baltimore Ravens: Martellus Bennett Would Be a Welcomed Addition


Could the Baltimore Ravens look to Chicago again to fill another position that left for Denver?

Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted out today that the Chicago Bears are exploring their options in potentially trading Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett has been absent from the start of the Bears voluntary offseason workouts and is reportedly searching for a new contract. He is entering the third year of the four-year, $20.4 million deal he signed before the 2013 season.

The Ravens would know quite a bit about Bennett because Marc Trestman was his coach in Chicago. Bennett enjoyed the best two seasons of his career under Trestman. Last season was his best to date, catching 90 balls for 916 yards and six touchdowns while earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for Rob Gronkowski. He was the first Bears tight end to go to the Pro Bowl since the legendary Mike Ditka did so in 1965.

The Ravens have a need at tight end with Owen Daniels off to the Broncos and the uncertainty surrounding Dennis Pitta. Pitta broke his silence earlier this week, but gave no update on whether he will return.

Bennett would give the Ravens an instant upgrade at tight end, whether Pitta makes the comeback or not. Pairing the duo would give the Ravens a very good, if not elite, duo at tight end, similar to the days of when the New England Patriots would line up with Gronkowski and former NFL player, Aaron Hernandez. Both players have garnered much attention for their receiving skills, but are also terrific blockers. That would create a lot of mismatches for Joe Flacco to be able to exploit.

Even if Pitta can’t get back to full health, the club appears to have confidence in Crockett Gilmore, last season’s third round pick. The Ravens could also look to the draft for a complimentary piece to Bennett.

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It will be difficult to make the finances work, however. The Ravens currently have just a bit over $11 million in cap space remaining. Some of that money is basically already tied up in the future deals for the team’s upcoming draft picks. Pitta is guaranteed $4 million this upcoming season, regardless whether he plays or not. Bennett carries a hefty price tag of $6.125 million.

Bennett’s contract does not include any guaranteed money over the next two seasons, and is why the 28-year-old is asking for a new deal. The Ravens could potentially work out an extension that gives Bennett the guaranteed money he is looking for up front in a signing bonus.

Over the past few years, draft day trades have become a common occurrence. Could the Ravens be players in that market? With 10 picks, and six of them coming in the first first four rounds, the Ravens certainly have the ammunition to get a deal done.

The Ravens are running out of time to fill the hole at the position. Jermaine Gresham is a player the Ravens could take a look at, but Bennett would be a better addition because he immediately fits into Trestman’s offense.

This is one of those moves that would make sense for all parties involved. I will never question Ozzie Newsome, but it would be smart to get this deal done.

Next: Should Ravens Draft Melvin Gordon?

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