Pats add former Bears TE Bennett, LB McClellin
The New England Patriots made a pair of significant roster moves Wednesday, acquiring tight end Martellus Bennett from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick and a sixth-round pick and signing former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin to a multiyear deal, multiple media outlets reported.
McClellin’s deal reportedly spans three years and was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
On Tuesday, the Patriots traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for a second-round pick in the 2016 draft and offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, then signed free agent defensive end Chris Long to a one-year deal.
On Wednesday, they added to their offense. If Bennett can have the type of season he had in 2014, he and Rob Gronkowski would give the Patriots a strong pair of play-making tight ends. It might resemble the tight end combination the Patriots had when Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski played together.
Bennett, 29, was limited to 11 games last season because of injuries, finishing with 53 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2014, however, Bennett was named to the Pro Bowl after catching 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns.
Bennett is signed through the 2016 season and is scheduled to earn $5,085,000 in base salary.
McClellin, a 26-year-old entering his fifth year in the league, had a career-high 81 total tackles (53 solo, 28 assists) over 12 games last season.
McClellin was believed to be a target of the Patriots in the 2012 draft, according to Schefter, but was selected by the Bears at No. 19 overall– two spots ahead of New England’s pick.
The Patriots then selected Jones with the No. 21 overall pick.