Bears

Bears Gain Cap Room After Releasing WR Earl Bennett

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Earl Bennett.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Earl Bennett. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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By Adam Hoge-

(CBS) — Wide receiver Earl Bennett became the Bears’ third major cap casualty of the offseason after reportedly declining to take a pay cut Tuesday.

Just hours after multiple reports indicated the team had asked Bennett to take a pay cut — a necessary and expected request — the wide receiver officially had his contract terminated by the team.

The release saves the Bears $2.45 million in cap space.

Bennett took a $1 million pay cut in 2013 and finished the year with 32 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns. With the wide receiver now out of the picture, Marquess Wilson and newcomer Domenik Hixon are set to compete for the No. 3 wide receiver job, although more competition could certainly be added. Wilson was a seventh round pick a year ago and caught just two passes in very limited action in 2013.

Bennett was drafted by the Bears out of Vanderbilt in the third round of the 2008 draft. He has 161 career receptions for 2,114 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.

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