Brandon Marshall has been acquired by the Chicago Bears via a trade with the Miami Dolphins for two third-round draft picks.
The trade is a solid move on behalf of the Bears because it reunites Marshall with quarterback Jay Cutler. The two friends spent the first three years of their career together in Denver. Both players posted some of the best numbers of their career while playing together for the Broncos and there is no reason to believe they can’t continue that success in Chicago.
Cutler and Marshall each made a statement in their first-career game, a 23-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. Late in the fourth quarter Cutler connected with Marshall on a 71-yard touchdown pass which tied the game at 20-20. It was one of the longest touchdown passes in NFL history for a player making his professional debut. It was also the second-longest pass play in Broncos franchise history between two rookies.
After Cutler was traded to the Bears in 2009, Marshall expressed his disappointment in an interview with NFL Network.
“I’m disappointed,” Marshall said when asked how he felt about the trade. “Our rookie year I got this portrait made up. I got one for him and myself and it was our first touchdown pass. When I was talking to him in the portrait I was basically saying, ‘Hey, this is the first one and we got hundreds more to come.’ I’m kind of disappointed that we can’t accomplish that.”
Cutler clashing with Broncos rookie head coach Josh McDaniels was the main reason for the trade. It was not much long after Cutler was gone Marshall began making noise that he wanted out as well. After an ugly public dispute between the wide receiver and McDaniels in the summer of 2010, the Broncos decided to part ways with Marshall by trading him to Miami.
Marshall is the exact offensive weapon Cutler needs to be successful in Chicago. The already proven chemistry between the two players will be huge as they learn offensive coordinator Mike Tice’s newly implemented scheme.
Marshall was never the same player after Cutler left mostly due to the horrendous quarterback play in Miami. However, Marshall has shown signs of excellence and there is a good chance we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of how good these two can be together.
The NFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL with the very talented Green Bay Packers led by MVP Aaron Rodgers at the helm and the resurgent Detroit Lions making plenty of noise last season. The Bears will no doubt have their hands full, but the addition of Marshall and a few other possible free agent acquisitions could put them over the top.