Despite a late push by the New York Giants to keep Martellus Bennett, the tight end is headed to the Windy City.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported the Chicago Bears have agreed in principle to a contact with the tight end, and the team later confirmed it, saying it was a four-year deal. Rapoport reported the deal is for four years and is worth slightly more than $20 million.
"I'm proud to say I'll be joining my other brother @bmarshall next season. #BEARDOWN," Bennett tweeted as NFL free agency kicked off at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Coming off career highs in receptions (55), yards (626) and touchdowns (five) in his first season with the Giants, Bennett arguably was the top all-around tight end on the market behind Tony Gonzalez. As a solid blocker with size and athleticism, Bennett is a better fit for new Bears coach Marc Trestman's offense than the other available tight ends.
One could make a strong argument that the Bears' lightning-quick strike to sign Bennett is proof of a group-think mentality around the NFL. After languishing a few days on the market last offseason, Bennett managed just a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Bennett's signing should mark the end of the line for Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth in Chicago. General manager Phil Emery acknowledged at his season-ending news conference that Davis had a "rough year" as the 2012 starter.
UPDATE: Bennett signed with the Bears on Wednesday.Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.