New Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery’s first move once the free agency period began was to make his franchise quarterback happy. Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com has reported the team has traded two third round picks to the Miami Dolphins for wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
The Bears will ship their third round pick in this year’s draft, the one they acquired in the trade of Greg Olsen last year, and a third round pick in the 2013 draft for Marshall. For a player of Marshall’s caliber, that’s a downright steal.
Marshall (6-4, 230) spent the past two seasons in Miami, racking up 167 catches, 2,228 yards and nine touchdowns. Yet his best years came when he and Cutler were teammates in Denver from 2006-2008. In 2007, Marshall caught 102 passes for 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2008: 104 receptions, 1,265 yards and six touchdowns.
WR Brandon Marshall
Cutler also had his best seasons throwing to Marshall. In 2008, he threw for 4,526 yards – a career high – and 25 touchdowns, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
The Bears will assume Marshall’s contract of $9.3 million this year and $9.1 million in 2013 and 2014.
Cutler and Marshall exchanged tweets earlier this offseason about possibly reuniting, which now seems almost prophetic.
This was an outstanding move by Emery. He came in and immediately addressed the biggest position of need on the team. The club now has a 27-year-old go-to receiver who has established himself as one of the most-dominant wideouts in the game, who has posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons for five straight years.
This also appeases Cutler, who is set to become a free agent in a couple of years. Getting him inked to a long-term deal just became much easier.
Marshall is somewhat of a head case and clashed with personnel in both Denver and Miami. Yet he’s worth the risk, as he’ll be able to come into a veteran-laden locker room to play with one of his best friends.
The team obviously is now out of the running for Vincent Jackson. Marshall’s price tag also makes it unlikely they can afford Mario Williams.
Follow me on Twitter: @BearReport
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.