Source: Bennett accepts $1 million pay cut

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A league source confirmed Friday that Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett recently took a $1 million pay cut to reduce his 2013 base salary from $2.25 million to $1.25 million, but the source added that Bennett can earn the money back if he reaches a certain amount of receptions this season.

The move opens up an additional $1 million worth of salary-cap space for the club.

Brian McIntyre first reported the news.

Bennett inked a four-year extension with the Bears in 2011 that included a $6 million signing bonus and $8.5 million worth of total guarantees.

The veteran receiver returned to practice this week after missing the majority of the preseason with a concussion he suffered on Aug. 3. Bennett said Thursday that he expects to be active for the Bears' regular-season opener Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Selected by the Bears in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft, Bennett has 153 career catches for 2,034 yards and eight touchdowns in his past 53 games after not catching a pass his rookie year. He set a career high with 109 receiving yards in the Bears’ 2012 regular-season finale in Detroit.

The Bears have now freed up $3 million worth of salary-cap space in the past week after the team restructured the contract of defensive end Julius Peppers, which equated to a $2 million savings.