The New England Patriots have made some good moves this offseason to bolster their offense, adding Chris Hogan at wide receiver from the Buffalo Bills, and Jonathon Cooper on the offensive line from the Arizona Cardinals.
They have improved in once more over the past 24 hours by making an addition to the tight end position, bringing in Martellus Bennett from the Chicago Bears.
According to NFL.com, ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the trade, and: "NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, via a source, that the Patriots have acquired tight end Martellus Bennett and a sixth-round pick from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick."
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The trade will be a good sign for Patriots fans as it could be a strong indication that the team will be reverting back to the days when they played the tight-end 1-2 punch with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Since the latter's prison sentence, the AFC East franchise has been looking for his replacement.
They have used several different players, including Scott Chandler, to try and reignite that combo, but it hasn't worked. Bennett is certainly an upgrade from Chandler, so there is a chance we could see the return of this type of offense play-call for New England.
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be very happy with the news as the trade provides him with another reliable player on offense, and a good red-zone target in 2016. Alongside Bennett and Gronkowski, he also currently has running back Dion Lewis, and wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
The 2014 NFL season has been the 29-year-old Bennett's best season in the league, as he caught 90 passes for 916 yards, averaging 10.2 yards-per-catch, and scoring six touchdowns across 16 games played. This earned him a call-up to the Pro Bowl.
He wasn't able to replicate these numbers in 2015 due to injuries, only achieving 439 yards and three touchdowns from 53 receptions, averaging 8.3 yards-per-catch.
The Patriots will be hoping the former Bears tight end will be able to replicate his 2014 numbers with the team. With the likes of Gronkowski and Edelman on the offense, taking away defensive coverage from him, that goal certainly is possible as he will likely only receive one-on-one coverage the majority of the time.
Moving on from Bennett, the Bears will lead the tight end spot with Zach Miller - who they re-signed in the past week - giving him a bigger role in the offense after he progressed last season. Bennett was therefore seen as surplus to requirements, so the Patriots picked him up.
The tight end wasn't the only former Bears player the Patriots have added recently, as they have also signed linebacker Shea McClellin to a three-year contract.
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