Bears, Bennett agree to four-year extension through 2015
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears and receiver Earl Bennett have agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2015. Bennett said the deal announced Friday had been in the works for several months, and he wasn't really interested in exploring the free-agent market because Chicago is "home, man."
"The organization has been loyal to me, drafted me," he said. "I wanted to be loyal to them. They had the first shot at it and they took advantage of it, and I appreciate it." Terms were not disclosed. A third-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2008, Bennett has emerged as one of the team's top receivers the past three years after failing to catch a pass as a rookie. He and Jay Cutler, his college teammate, quickly clicked after the quarterback arrived in a trade with Denver in 2009. He's a top third-down target and often a fallback for Cutler when plays break down. "It's fun to be able to play with a guy who's real close friends with you and continue to go out there and just work hard and make plays and ultimately help us win the Super Bowl," Bennett said. Cutler is sidelined indefinitely after breaking his right thumb against San Diego two weeks ago. Bennett missed five games because of a chest injury but came back strong last month, with five catches for 95 yards against Philadelphia on Nov. 7. He had six catches for 81 yards against Detroit the following week and three for 75 yards against San Diego, before catching just one 5-yard pass in last week's loss at Oakland. He has 18 receptions for 276 yards this season and 118 catches for 1,554 yards in his career. That includes 16 third-down receptions over the past 14 games he has played in -- all for first downs -- but he believes he's more than just a possession receiver. "A lot of people try to place a tag on me as a possession receiver or third-down receiver," Bennett said. "Obviously, the coaches know I can do a lot more. Obviously, the organization wanted me to stay around. Like I said, people can continue to place tags on me, that's fine. I'm just going to go out there and continue to prove them wrong." Also Friday, the Bears listed defensive tackle Anthony Adams (back) and cornerback D.J. Moore (ankle) as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City. Moore went through a full practice on Friday, while Adams sat out.