Martellus Bennett hopes to lure brother to Bears
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter January 27, 2014 3:02PM
Updated: January 28, 2014 4:25PM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Bears tight end Martellus Bennett has attended each of brother Michael’s playoff games this month — a luxury, given their concurrent NFL careers.
‘‘I know he didn’t want to be there,’’ Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Monday. ‘‘I know he wanted to be in the playoffs. It was a good thing. Hopefully next year, he’s playing the same time I’m playing.’’
Maybe on the same team.
Michael — finishing a make-good, one-year contract — would be among the fastest ways to fix the Bears’ popgun pass rush.
Martellus vowed to recruit his brother to Chicago, though he’s waiting until after the biggest game of Michael’s life.
And he might not take no for an answer.
‘‘I know he wants me to come out and play with him,’’ Michael said after the Seahawks’ first full day of Super Bowl week workouts. ‘‘That’s his dream — for us to both play on the same team. I think that’s my parents’ dream.
‘‘I wouldn’t mind playing with my brother, [but] I love playing for this team right now.’’
But — and this is the multimillion-dollar question — is it Michael’s dream?
‘‘I wouldn’t stop it if it was the opportunity,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m just playing for the Seahawks right now.’’
Michael said he would ‘‘love to stay in Seattle’’ but has thought about his brother’s dream.
Chicago is the only place they could play together — at least for a few years.
Martellus flew Monday to New York and tweeted shortly thereafter: ‘‘I really want my brother to come to Chicago so I can pitch this idea to M&Ms: Michael and Martellus Bennett special blue and orange M&Ms. LOL.’’
Then, to be clear, he tweeted another message: ‘‘I’m not joking.’’
The Bears would welcome Michael like, well, family. His 8½ sacks this season lead the Seahawks and would have led the Bears.
And even with the raise Michael is expected to command this offseason, he would be more palatable to the Bears than defensive end Julius Peppers and his $18.2 million cap hit.
‘‘You do want long-term deals, but I don’t think about it as much as some people think I think about it,’’ Michael said.
Michael, who plays end and tackle, has more than twice as many sacks as all the Bears who lined up exclusively at tackle this season had combined.
He’s opportunistic, too — remember when the Bears were like that? — having forced a fumble in each of the Seahawks’ two playoff games.
‘‘He has tremendous versatility,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘‘He plays inside and outside. He has a great motor, a great savvy about him.’’
Not bad for a player the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let walk away last offseason, forcing Michael to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks.
‘‘It’s frustrating because, as a player, you go out there and you put everything on the line for the organization,’’ he said. ‘‘When it’s time to get your just due and you don’t get it, you feel a certain type of way.’’
Michael said it served as motivation.
‘‘I think every year’s a prove-it contract in the NFL,’’ he said. ‘‘Unlike the NBA, our contracts aren’t guaranteed. So every year you have to prove yourself, or you’ll be replaced.’’
Michael called the Broncos’ Peyton Manning ‘‘one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time’’ and offered a simple solution for sacking him Sunday.
‘‘You’ve just got to beat your man, [be] faster,’’ he said.
Michael ‘‘doesn’t always do things in an orthodox manner,’’ Carroll said, but that’s fine.
‘‘He has a great feel for the game, and he makes great decisions in the game,’’ Carroll said. ‘‘So we give him a little bit of latitude in that regard.’’
Here’s unorthodox: Michael’s sack dance, borrowed from late professional wrestler Rick Rude, features him placing his hands behind his head and gyrating with his crotch.
And he won’t let his kids watch it.
‘‘I tell my wife to black that part out,’’ he said.
But for a bushy beard, Michael looks — and sounds — almost exactly like Martellus, who is 16 months his junior. He’s clever and silly, like Martellus, and has made dinner reservations back home posing as Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
‘‘But I’m doing it as [President Barack] Obama in New York City,’’ Michael said. ‘‘That’s the only way you can get a seat out there.’’
And like Martellus, who once likened Bears coach Marc Trestman to Willy Wonka, he compared Super Bowl week to that character’s chocolate factory.
‘‘All I see [are] cameras, lights and chocolates,’’ Michael said. ‘‘I see some chocolate ladies.’’
Martellus wants his brother in Chicago, and the Bears could use him.
But is Chicago prepared for another Bennett?