Bears To Trade Brandon Marshall To Jets
(CBS/AP) The Bears have agreed to trade mercurial receiver Brandon Marshall to the Jets, according to multiple reports. The deal is pending a physical.
Chicago will receive a fifth-round draft pick in return. The trade can't become official until Tuesday, when the new league year starts.
By parting ways with the 30-year old Marshall, the Bears will free up $3.95 million on the salary cap and save $7.7 million in cash. He's signed through 2017, but the final two years aren't guaranteed -- meaning the Jets could re-evaluate the move after the 2015 season.
Marshall's had a stellar three-year run in Chicago, but his production waned in 2014 as the Bears struggled and he dealt with injuries. He finished with 61 catches for 721 yards and eight touchdowns, his lowest production since his rookie season in 2006. Marshall suffered a sprained ankle early in the season that nagged him all year, and he missed the final three games with a collapsed lung.
During his time with the Bears, Marshall was fourth in NFL in catches, fourth in touchdown receptions and ninth in receiving yards. He also ranks fifth in Bears franchise history in receiving touchdowns and eighth in receptions.
This trade marks the third time Marshall has been traded since 2010, which is unusual for a receiver with elite skills and productivity. However, employing Marshall comes with baggage, which three different NFL teams have now deemed to be too much. The Broncos previously traded him to the Dolphins in 2010. Miami then traded him to Chicago in 2012 in exchange for two third-round draft picks.
Marshall has 773 career receptions for 1,289 yards and 65 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons. He's familiar with new Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was an assistant with the Miami Dolphins when Marshall played there in 2010 and 2011. Bowles was the interim coach for three games at the end of the 2011 season. Jets receivers coach Karl Dorrell was also Marshall's position coach in Miami in 2010.
Marshall has been at the center of much off-field drama while in Chicago. Last season, he had a postgame tirade in the locker room after a loss the the Dolphins that began to show the disconnect in the Bears' locker room. He also challenged a Lions fan on Twitter to a boxing match and held a bizarre press conference to address past allegations of domestic violence.
Marshall also drew the ire of some for his regular appearances on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Tuesdays, the Bears' off day. Marshall had the blessing of management to do the show, but some believed it was an unnecessary distraction and unneeded travel for him.
"I just want to make sure that we understand the Chicago Bears and football are our No. 1 priority going forward," general manager Ryan Pace said of Marshall when speaking at the NFL Combine.
Marshall has said he suffers from borderline personality disorder, and has been an active spokesman for mental health during the last few years. He has been fined by the NFL in the past for wearing green cleats to support his mental illness foundation.
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