"Very talented, big body, good in-line blocker," Fox said of Bennett, via CSN New England. "I think in their case, when you start looking at who they could put him next to, I'm sure that excited them. I'm not going to talk to Bill (Belichick) at length about how he's going to play him or what they're going to do with him, but he's got skins on the wall. He's got good production."
And what about Bennett off the field?
"He's got personality. ... He's a nice young man," Fox said. "He's got an interesting personality, for sure. It's not malicious or bad. He's a great kid."
To us, Bennett is one of those players who seems easy to let go until it actually happens. There was a tumultuous stretch in Chicago during which he skipped voluntary workouts after not getting a new deal post Pro Bowl in 2014. That season, Bennett caught 90 passes and scored six touchdowns. As 2015 wore on, it was clear that he didn't "fit" in the type of offense Chicago was running and that the Bears preferred Zach Miller.
It sounds a lot like what the Giants did in 2012, banking on the notion that Bennett was a replaceable cog in the system. They're still looking for a better option at tight end.
The fact is that New England stole one of the best dual-threat tight ends in football. Injuries have contributed to some uneven play over the years, but Bennett's rare combination of soft hands and powerful run blocking is so hard to find in the NFL. Ask any offensive coordinator how much better an offense gets when a player doesn't immediately tip the play just by lining up. Though Pro Football Focus is not the end-all for this type of evaluation, they rated Bennett a top five tight end in two of the past four years, and never with a negative run blocking grade. This much is evident just by popping in some tape, of course.
The Bears had to get rid of Bennett. They were buried under bad deals already and likely didn't want to commit long-term to a player who was vocal about his unhappiness. But a few touchdowns into the 2016 season, will they be wondering what might have been if they fit the system to the player and not the other way around?