The Bears have made little progress in long-term talks with franchise player DT Henry Melton.
Melton signed his $8.5 million franchise tender on March 12. The sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement. "We're just kind of talking through some things," Melton said. "Everyone is getting set up and getting the drafted guys done. Hopefully we can sit down and get something done." The Bears locked up franchise player Matt Forte just before the deadline last year. Talks with Melton will likely go down to the wire.
Earl Bennett expects to be used "all over the place" in the Bears offense.
"This offense, actually, it moves everybody around," Bennett said in a Wednesday radio interview. "So you're not just stuck in one spot. I won't be just primarily a slot guy. ... That's what I love about this offense: you never know where you're gonna be." The Bears are clearly opening things up one year after "OC" Mike Tice reined them in, but Bennett isn't a legitimate fantasy threat after watching his yardage total fall for the third straight year last season. Bennett's $2.25 million salary is steep for a player who's averaged 378 yards the past two seasons.
Brandon Marshall (hip surgery) is not participating in this week's OTAs, as expected.
Marshall underwent a scope in January and is not quite at 100 percent yet. Although it's his third procedure on the troublesome joint, no one around the Bears appears concerned. Marshall has missed just five games in his seven-year career and is coming off a sparkling 118/1508/11 campaign.
Matt Forte expects an increase in receptions this season.
Forte averaged just 2.9 grabs per game last season after averaging 3.7 between 2008-11. "Coach (Marc) Trestman, I think he said he watched a lot of film on me and has seen me run different routes," Forte said. "So we'll get back to catching the ball out of the backfield like we did the prior years." Forte also saw his yards per carry slump to 4.4 last season after he averaged 4.7 in 2010-11. Forte has racked up a lot of wear and tear his five years in the league, but should remain a high-end RB2 in a Bears offense that is striving to be more explosive this season.
Bears G/C Edwin Williams has agreed to a restructured contract.
Williams' $715,000 base salary remains the same, but he agreed to void a $250,000 reporting bonus. He's still due a $100,000 workout bonus. A reserve interior lineman, Williams played just 168 snaps last season.
Bears G/T Gabe Carimi was absent from OTAs for the second straight day Tuesday.
The sessions are technically "voluntary," but it's a bizarre decision from a player who may be on the roster bubble and is without a set position. He's reportedly training in Arizona, meaning he's 1,750 miles away from the new coaching staff he needs to impress. Perhaps Carimi is trying to force the Bears' hand so he can move on to greener pastures.