The Patriots were among the quietest teams in the first week of free agency, but let's just say they're making up for lost time. What could best be described as a whirlwind of activity in the second week continued on Wednesday as New England acquired veteran tight end Martellus Bennett from Chicago in a deal that involved the swapping draft picks.
This according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who indicated the Patriots would be sending a fourth-rounder to the Bears and getting back a sixth-rounder while additional compensation was still being ironed out.
The Bennett trade comes a day after the team jettisoned Chandler Jones to Arizona for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick (No. 61 overall).
Bennett, 29, is a gifted receiver who turned in a tremendous season just two years ago when he caught 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. While his production dropped precipitously last year – 53 receptions, 439 yards, 3 TDs in 11 games – he is still would represent a significant addition to the offense.
Playing alongside Rob Gronkowski, the duo could provide the type a two-tight-end looks the team featured when Aaron Hernandez was racked up big numbers in New England.
Bennett is entering the final year of his contract and is due a base salary of $5.085 million. Although he fell out of favor in Chicago – one report indicated the Bears have been trying to trade him for 18 months – there's no denying his talent and Bill Belichick could finally have the type of versatility he craves to run his two-tight-end offense.