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Martellus Bennett leaves Giants, signs with Bears

03/12/2013 7:56 PM ET
By The Associated Press

After setting career highs in receptions, yardage and touchdowns with the Giants in 2012, Martellus Bennett signed a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Tuesday.(AP)
CHICAGO (AP) -- Free agent tight end Martellus Bennett is leaving the New York Giants after agreeing to a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears.

The Bears announced the deal on Tuesday. They also said Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton signed his $8.45 million franchise tender as expected. His agent Jordan Woy posted on Twitter last week that he would do just that and would still try to negotiate a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline.

As for Bennett, he indicated on Twitter that he was headed to Chicago before the announcement was made. He wrote that he's ''proud to say I'll be joining'' Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall in Chicago next season and added a ''(hash)BEARDOWN'' at the end of the post.

The Bears were looking for a tight end who can catch and block, and they addressed one of their biggest needs by bringing in Bennett.

Bennett spent his first four seasons in Dallas before signing a one-year $2.5 million contract with the Giants last March. He had career highs with 55 receptions, 626 yards and five touchdowns.

The Bears went 10-6 last season but missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. They fired coach Lovie Smith and hired the offensive-minded Marc Trestman to replace him. They still have some holes to fill on the offensive line and some issues to address on defense, particularly at linebacker with Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach on the market.

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