One star wide receiver who wasn’t expected to find a new home shockingly was shipped Tuesday from South Florida to the Midwest at the start of the free-agent signing period.
FOXSports.com has learned that the Miami Dolphins have agreed to trade Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for third-round picks in 2012 and 2013.
Marshall will now reunite with quarterback Jay Cutler, who was his teammate with the Denver Broncos from 2006-08.
The Bears were planning to enter the free-agent market in hopes of signing at least one top-flight wide receiver. Although many thought it was Vincent Jackson, they decided to swing the deal for Marshall.
The move now leaves the Dolphins in search of a new No. 1 wideout under first-year head coach Joe Philbin.
Marshall is coming off his best season with the Dolphins. He caught 81 passes for 1,214 yards and six touchdowns. But a combination of off-field issues and the inability to form a strong bond with either of Miami’s past two starting quarterbacks (Matt Moore and Chad Henne) put a damper on some of that success.
Marshall had some of the same types of problems in Denver, which led to his 2010 trade to the Dolphins. Marshall has posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons for five straight years.
Marshall, who turns 28 on March 23, has $6 million of his $9.3 million base salary for 2012 guaranteed, provided he doesn’t receive another NFL suspension. Marshall is also under contract to the Bears for 2013 and 2014 at $9.1 million a season.