HESTER Vs BENNETT
So I was listening to Mully & Hanley this morning (sports talk radio 670 the Score 10/16/12). They were talking about the value Earl Bennett bring to the Bears Vs. his contract cost. Comparisons were made between Hester and Bennett. To me the obvious answer is Bennett. My opinion is that Hester is a situational receiver at best and a gimmick at worst. Bennett is a solid receiver who is valued by our QB and comes up big on third down and in the slot, his only problem is that he is injury prone (not really his fault but if his body can't hold up you have to take that into consideration).
Basically I want your opinion on who brings more value to the team (as a wide receiver) for the money.
To help us out I'm posting the contracts of each player below (you can look them up in more detail if desired):
Hester: $15 mill guaranteed, $18.94 mill in escalators, $7,646,000 cap hit in 2012, $12,857,523 cap hit in 2013
Bennett: $9 Mill guaranteed, $9.55 Mill in escalators, $2,800,000 cap hit 2012, $3,550,000 cap hit in 2013
Essentially Hester ends up making slightly more than double what Bennett makes when you look at what they "actually" get paid. But that doesn't really matter for purposes of this discussion. We should only look at what effect their salaries have on the team (team cost) and what value they bring for that cost (team value).
Finally, be careful not to look at Hester's return value. Thats not what I'm asking about here and thats not what Hester is being paid for as most of his escalators are for WR stats. You could also say that Hester is no longer prolific as a return man. Prolific to me is when everyone knows what you are going to do and they game plan for it but they just can't stop you (Hester circa 2006). I think using that definition Hester is no longer prolific in that area (although he's still very good). So lets just compare them as receivers.
Thanks for your opinions!
As receivers, there is no question that Bennett is better than Hester. The only thing Hester brings is speed to get deep, which is important, but it doesn't seem like it'd be too difficult to find a fast guy with average hands to replace hester if needed. Bennett has great hands, knows how to get open consistently and isn't afraid to go through the middle (which is why the poor guy is always hurt lol). Give me Bennett over Hester any day and twice on Sunday.
For the record, Mully & Hanley talked about Bennett like he was trash. Said he was over paid and a "head-scratcher" of a contract move. My opinion is that Bennett makes sense as a receiver (only thing he doesn't have is above average speed) and Hester is a crazy move. Who gives a glorified special teams guy a 40 million dollar contract with 15m guaranteed, just the cap hit alone doesn't make sense.
They are very different weapons, and both bring value to the team. Hester's value includes his return play. Just because he's been relatively quiet in this area at times, he always seems to come back as a game-changer in key games for us. To isolate his receiver value from his return value would be like isolating Forte and just considering his rushing value and not his other (very impressive) skills. I like to evaluate the total package. What they bring to the table for the Bears.
Hester has (finally) developed into a WR that teams do have to fear a bit. This is the first season that I've seen him beginning to look like a serious weapon at WR. The problem is that Jay is enamored so much with Brandon Marshall that guys like Hester are not getting many looks. If you watch Hester's route running, he's a much better WR than in the past. Things just seem to have "clicked" with him (finally). He's also made some remarkable catches this year. Moving forward, he will be a great weapon to have in the mix. Is he overpaid? Probably. But I'm mighty glad that we have him.
Bennett is a decent receiver, but nothing special. I'm glad we have him, but in all honesty, he could be replaced pretty easily.
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBearsFan99
JABF, good input as usual. Although I disagree with you I can appreciate your perspective. I think its easy to forget how good Bennett is and how good he is at getting YAC. Bennett is a dependable type of guy you can go to on third down, much like Olsen was for us.
Hester is "developing" as a WR because he finally figured out that roughly half of his pay depends on escalators based on WR stats. When you look at the numbers its no surprise the guy wants the rock more. He will miss out on roughly 5 million this year if he doesn't perform. I don't think its a terrible thing to be motivated by money (hey, whatever it takes) but he isn't on the same level as Bennett in my opinion.
Could we get another receiver with the capabilities of Bennett for less money? Now there's something to consider.
I like Bennett a lot, and he brings a lot to the table. I'm certainly not dissing his value to the team. I love to watch him make the tough catches in traffic. I also like his chemistry with Jay Cutler. All I'm saying is that there are a lot of "Bennetts" in the NFL, who are very solid blue-collar type guys you can depend upon. Every roster has these type guys (offense, defense and ST's guys) who help make a team better. That's Bennett.
Originally Posted by XxMidwayMonstersxX
Hester is special. He is just a gifted athlete. I don't think the money motivated him as much as he's a slow learner. I honestly think it took him this long to learn how to be a decent route runner. Also, I don't think the coaches understood how to use Hester at first. I believe he was misused (some incredibly dumb use at times). Also, the Bears were crazy thinking he'd ever be a #1 WR in the NFL. That's not going to happen. But he can be a VERY decent weapon to have, if you use the guy properly.
And Cutler needs to realize he has more than just 1 WR on the roster now. If he doesn't, then he will lose some games for us down the road, by trying to hard to force passes to B. Marshall - this will bring on "Bad Jay" games when we face the tougher teams on our schedule. They are not stupid. They can take B.Marsh out - and if Cutler throws to him anyway, they have no fear of selling out to stop Marshall. It's a no-brainer for them.
But, I do believe Hester is overpaid.
One is the best slot posession guy in the game(statiscially) bennett; that being said it's still a slot/posession guy.
The other is a stil developing WR that is finally really starting to get it, and was put out of position(#1 wr) for 2 yrs. Hester's a great #3/4 wr. who if he gets space will burn teams, he's also a really good return man(not elite or the best anymore imo), you cannot discount that.
Drake said before the season he's talked to DC's that still think Hester requires the #2 CB on him when he's on the field, even w/Marshal; not Bennett. Teams still worry about Hester's ability to burn them.
Me I'd take Bennet as a pure WR and most reliable possesison WR; but don't discount the fear teams have when Hester is on the field teams HAVE to account for him; not Bennett so much.
I'm surprised I haven't heard Bennett's name a more this season. With Jay at times not reading progressions and perhaps over-targeting Marshall a bit I think now is a perfect time for Bennett to step back up.
Might have something to do w/him being hurt the last few weeks. But I kept telling people that it was going to be Marshal, then everyone else evenly split; he was never going to get near 1K yards, even before getting hurt.
Btw, neither bennett or hester are legit 2's in a big boy passing game, they are 700 yard guys that get a handfull of looks each game based on matchups. They aren't going to beat the elite db's game in game out. That's why they took Alshon.
Wow, are those contract numbers right? I could have sworn Devin's fat contract was front loaded, but that sure doesn't look like it. Perhaps I was thinking of someone else. Regardless, Devin's 2013 cap hit of over $12 mill FAR exceeds his value to the team. Even his 2012 numbers are much to high (even considering it may not all be earned). My own opinion is that when you weigh all their respective attributes, the value to the team between Bennett and Hester is pretty equal at this point. Xx didn't want us to consider Devin's return prowess in our opinions, but from my perspective you can't do that because the numbers (salary and escalators) take that prowess into account. Sorry Xx.
Devin is one of those guys that you want to see close out his career as a Bear because he has a real chance to make the HOF for his special talents and records alone, but man, you have to consider that cap hit. I personally believe Bennett is a legit NFL WR, but he's a legit 3 or 4 guy (kinda like Devin, but a little better). The reason we all like him is that he was one of the only Legit NFL receivers we actually had last year, so we elevated our opinion of him.