Bears bag Marshall
Bears finally add star wideout to their ranks after trade with Miami
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: March 13, 2012 11:02pm
Brandon Marshall: MVP of the last Pro Bowl
With free agency and the official new NFL season just a few hours old, a surprisingly big trade came out of nowhere with the Miami Dolphins allowing Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to join the Chicago Bears.
The Bears look to have pulled off something of a coup as they only had to give up two third round draft picks to reunite Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler at Soldier Field.
Cutler and Marshall kicked-off their NFL careers together at the Denver Broncos and proved to be one of the deadliest combinations in the league.
Three-time Pro Bowl selection Marshall enjoyed career highs playing alongside Cutler in 2008 with 104 catches for 1,265 yards, and he will finally give the Bears the star wideout they have been craving for years.
Chicago have not had a 1000-yard receiver since 2002 while Marshall has reached that mark in each of the last five seasons, while he also has the NFL record of the most catches in one game with 21.
Marshall totaled 81 catches for 1,214 yards with six touchdowns last season when playing with Chad Henne and Matt Moore, hardly known as high-octane quarterbacks, as he again made the Pro Bowl.
Such an eye-catching trade so early into the new season has many thinking that the move is in some way connected to Miami's pursuit of free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.
Miami's decision to ditch Marshall came just a day after Manning met with Fins owner Stephen Ross, and it could be argued that they veteran had a hand to play in that decision.
As dominant and powerful as Marshall is, he has been a distraction off the field - something Manning would not stand for in his team - plus his departure could pave the way for Manning's former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.
Tight end Dallas Clark could also head to South Florida to try and coax Manning into joining Miami - although it is all pure speculation at present with Manning also meeting with Denver, Arizona and Tennessee.
It is undoubtedly a blockbuster start to the new NFL season and, fi Chicago now go after free agent pass rusher Mario Williams after finally bagging a genuine number one wideout, they will suddenly by one of the big challengers for the Super Bowl this season.