13 March 2012

Bears swing brilliant trade for Brandon Marshall

Everybody's looking for major trades from the NBA but a trade in the NFL, a brilliant one at that, went down today as Jay Glazer reported that the Miami Dolphins have traded wideout Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for a pair of third-round picks. Here's my analysis.

I absolutely love this move for the Bears. Marshall is a great receiver and is one of the elite physical wideouts in the league, as his five straight 1,000 receiving seasons attest to. And if there is one thing the Bears desperately needed, it was a top wideout. Jay Cutler has been throwing to a second-rate group of receivers without a true number one; Johnny Knox is a decent two and Earl Bennett is a decent possession guy in the slot. Marshall allows those to fit into their more natural roles. Plus, both Cutler and Marshall were at their best when they were playing together before Josh McDaniels chose to do his thing in Denver, plus especially when Jeremy Bates was a major part of the offensive staff, and he is now the Bears' offensive coach. A Cutler-Matt Forte-Marshall skill position triumvirate is an excellent one and if Chicago improves their offensive line, this is a playoff club.

Now you may wonder why the Dolphins, with a decent but not great receiving corps even with Marshall, would deal their top receiving threat and be left with likely starters being Davone Bess, a fine possession guy, and Brian Hartline, a decent talent but they've been waiting for him to break out. But it had been rumored that Peyton Manning was not keen to playing with the mercurial Marshall so that clears out that concern and if it results in Manning coming to town (with Reggie Wayne likely in tow), then it's a brilliant move. But if Manning spurns them for say Arizona or Denver or someone else, then this move is not so good.

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