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Bears renegotiate Earl Bennett's deal, free up more cap space

The Bears continue to make moves to free up salary-cap space for this season. Not long after defensive end Julius Peppers’ deal was re-worked, the Bears renegotiated with receiver Earl Bennett.

According to a source, Bennett’s base salary was decreased from $2.25 million to $1.25 million. It creates $1 million in cap space for the Bears this season.

Bennett can earn back some money through incentives based on his production. More importantly, unlike Peppers’ renegotiated deal, Bennett’s salary cap hits for the 2014 and 2015 remain unchanged, a source said.

There was a report last week that the Bears were looking at trades for Bennett. But general manager Phil Emery said it wasn’t true.

Bennett, who had 29 catches for 375 yards and two touchdowns last season, missed the entire preseason with a concussion, but has been cleared and will play against Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. He’s still considered the Bears’ No. 3 receiver and figures to have a key role in coach Marc Trestman’s offense.

“Earl Bennett will be working in,” defensive coordinator Aarom Kromer said. “He’s not one of the two starters obviously, but he’ll be working in and getting his reps and we’ll see how he does. If he does well, he’ll play more; if he doesn’t, we’ll see who else we can get.”