Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/13/2013 8:14 PM

'The Black Unicorn' brimming with confidence

Success - Article sent! close

New tight end Martellus Bennett can be seen on YouTube rapping about the virtues of Cap'n Crunch cereal.

He once caught a fan who fell out of the stands at the Meadowlands and could have been seriously injured. Among his nicknames is "The Black Unicorn." He's into art, but he's no weirdo.

"I fit in well most places," he said, "whether it's the zoo or in the classroom."

Coming off a career year, Bennett doesn't lack for confidence, either.

"Not to put anyone down, but I think my level of play is totally different from the guys they had here in the past," he said. "I think there are huge expectations for me. So anytime the organization has expectations for you, you just live up to it."

But what about that nickname?

"Basically, black unicorns are rare," Bennett said. "Anytime you see a picture, like at school when you get the little folders, they all have the white unicorns. So, being African-American, I just thought it would be clever to be The Black Unicorn. "Unicorns are cool, but I prefer dinosaurs. One day I had black tights on and I was running down the field, and I just felt like a unicorn. I didn't feel like a horse, I felt like a unicorn, so I just said 'The Black Unicorn.' It's like The Black Mamba for Kobe (Bryant). The Black Unicorn is magical. I enjoy magic. I'm a Harry Potter fan."

Not much room:

Signing free agents Jermon Bushrod ($36 million over five years) and Martellus Bennett ($20 million for four years) has left the Bears with a tight salary-cap fit.

"We are up against the ($123 million) cap," general manager Phil Emery said. "There isn't a lot of wiggle room. Are we going to go out and sign in the UFA market a starting guard? No."

But what about re-signing their own starting right guard Lance Louis, who is currently on the market and reportedly had a visit with another team Wednesday night?

"It just means that every signing is going to be scrutinized in terms of current cap implications and future," Emery said. "There are not a lot of dollars. When we talk to free agents, definitely that is always in the forefront for us."

Eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is also on the market, as is strong-side linebacker Nick Roach, who has started 59 games the past five seasons.

"We've approached him about coming back," Emery said of Urlacher. "As far as working it out, that's an ongoing process."

Roach had a visit planned Wednesday with the Raiders.

Creating some space:

Room was cleared under the salary cap Wednesday by cutting tight ends Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth. Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina's release is imminent.

Cutting Davis saves the Bears $2.5 million, including his base salary of $2.4 million plus a $100,000 workout bonus. Spaeth's release cleared another $1.5 million, and cutting Toeaina would save another $1.1 million. More money must be cleared to re-sign any of the Bears' unrestricted free agents.

Davis started 30 games the past two seasons. He caught just 37 passes for 435 yards, although he had 7 TD receptions. But the 2008 fifth-round pick from Michigan State was plagued by inconsistency and dropped passes.

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.