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Martellus Bennett traded by Bears to Patriots

A day after trading away a key piece of their defense, the Patriots have traded for a potential ace on offense.

The Patriots acquired tight end Martellus Bennett and a sixth-round pick from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick, the team announced Thursday.

The deal represents a potential coup for the Patriots, who will pair the playmaking Bennett with Rob Gronkowski to form a 1-2 punch at tight end not seen in Foxborough since Aaron Hernandez was in the picture. The 6-foot-6, 273-pound Bennett is a huge upgrade over the departed Scott Chandler and comes at a bargain rate from a Bears team that's been trying to shed the tight end for 18 months, according to Rapoport.

Bennett's personality might rub some coaching staffs the wrong way -- and will certainly be something to track now in the buttoned-down culture of Patriot Way -- but Bennett is just two seasons removed from a 90-catch season, 900-yard season with the Bears.

Tom Brady has to be thrilled with the news. The hulking Bennett gives the quarterback another big red-zone target. A receiving corps that includes Bennett, Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and satellite back Dion Lewis will be extremely difficult to contend with.

The Bears, meanwhile, will move forward at tight end with Zach Miller, who re-signed this week. Miller took on a bigger role in Chicago's offense as last season progressed, setting career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. Bennett was seen as expendable, but the Pats are happy to have him.

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