The past two days have been wonderful if you are a fan of the New England Patriots. After making a deal that sent defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona in exchange for offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second round draft pick, the Patriots were busy again on Wednesday. New England made a deal with the Chicago Bears that will send tight end Martellus Bennett to the Patriots. The deal is still being finalized, but it is expected that the two teams will exchange late-round drafts picks as well.
Chicago was looking for a trade partner for the disgruntled tight end and found one in the Patriots. Bennett was very open about his lack of use in the Bears system this past season after making the Pro Bowl in 2014. He did not receive the contract extension he had hoped he would. Tight end Zach Miller was featured more than the 6’6” Bennett, something that didn’t sit well with Bennett. He was placed on injured reserves on December 8 due to a rib injury. During the 2015 season Bennett hauled in 53 passes for 439 yards and three touchdowns. A season prior, he had 90 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl.
New England will now benefit from two big-time tight ends in Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. This move allows the Patriots to run their double tight end set that they love to run to cause matchup problems for opposing teams. This worked wonders for the Pats back in 2011 when they had Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Scott Chandler signed as a free agent this past offseason, but didn’t pan out the way the Pats had hopes, so they cut him earlier this month. Now they have not only another option for Tom Brady, but some much-needed protection for the future Hall of Famer.
How will teams match up against the Patriots arsenal now? That answer might be easier said than done. Both Bennett and Gronk are highly gifted and are matchup problems in their own rights. Now teams will have to be careful on which, if either tight end they will double team.
New England is gearing up for yet another Super Bowl run, something the rest of the league does not want to hear or see. The Patriots don’t make moves like this often, but the fan base will gladly accept it. As for the opposition the Pats will face in 2016, they now have much more headaches in terms of how to defend this team going forward.
The past two days have been really good for the Patriots and that isn’t a good sign for the rest of the NFL or those who do not like New England.