Chicago Bears

Report: Forte, Bennett Could Skip Voluntary Mini-Camp

Both players could be looking for new contracts as mini-camp begins

The Chicago Bears are busy preparing for next week’s NFL Draft, but the team members already on the roster will be meeting at Halas Hall for a three-day minicamp ahead of the selection show next week.

There is a possibility that two key cogs of the offense will not be heading to Lake Forest next week, according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson. Running back Matt Forte, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Bears, did not participate in offseason activities recently and could potentially miss mini-camp as well.

Tight end Martellus Bennett, who was selected to the Pro Bowl last season, could also be absent from the event, as some reports have circulated that he wants a renegotiated contract based on his strong performance with the Bears’ offense since he came aboard before the 2013 season.

Neither player has publicly confirmed whether or not they will attend the camp, but the potential contract issues of both players could be bad news for the already cash-strapped Bears. It appears unlikely at this point that the team is going to want to retain Forte badly enough to sign him to a new deal before this season begins, but Bennett is a different story. The athletic tight end has become even more important to the team with the departure of Brandon Marshall, and with limited cap space available for any extra moves, the Bears could be put in a hard place if he drives a hard bargain in any negotiations.

We’ll know more when the team actually reports next week, as head coach John Fox will speak to the media on Tuesday and G.M. Ryan Pace will take his turn at the podium on Wednesday.

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