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Bears GM Ryan Pace: Martellus Bennett has not requested a trade

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Friday that absent Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett has not requested a trade.

"No, no, [Bennett has not asked to be traded]," Pace said.

Bennett failed to attend the first phase of the Bears' voluntary offseason program and this week's three-day voluntary minicamp after catching a career-high 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. Bennett's 90 receptions ranked first among NFL tight ends last season.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the Bears are open to trading the 28-year-old Bennett, according to league sources, and Bennett does not intend to show up in camp with Chicago -- or anywhere else -- without a new contact.

"With him, it's individual choices," Pace said. "I've been talking to him and his agent. We'd love for him to be here right now competing, especially with what we've got going right now. That's his individual choice and it's voluntary, but hopefully he'll be here sooner than later."

Bears head coach John Fox told reporters Thursday he expected Bennett to be on the team's roster at the conclusion of draft week.

"I have talked to him,"Fox said. "I kind of know where he is. With anybody that is not here, I prefer they are here. But he's part of our football team and we'll leave it at that."

Bennett is entering the third year of a four-year deal he signed on May 13, 2013. He will earn $4.9 million in 2015. The original deal contained $9.215 million worth of guarantees.

Bennett is the first Bears tight end to make the Pro Bowl since Mike Ditka in 1965.

In two seasons in Chicago, Bennett has 155 receptions for 1,675 yards and 11 touchdowns.


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