The Chicago Bears finally have an elite wide-receiver. Jay Cutler should be happy, because it is a player that he knows very well. The Miami Dolphins traded WR Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two 3rd-round draft picks. Even though he is coming off his best season with the Dolphins (81 receptions for 1,215 yards with six touchdowns), the price went down for Marshall’s services. The Dolphins gave the Denver Broncos two 2nd-round picks in 2010.
Cutler and Marshall put up some impressive numbers together in Denver. The last three seasons that they were in Denver, Marshall eclipsed 100 receptions each year. The Bears have lacked a prototypical wide-receiver for many years. The last receiver that put up consistent numbers was Bernard Berrian. I’m not saying that Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are bad receivers, but neither of them are a #1 receiving option on a championship contending team.
The Bears still need help on the offensive line and they look to add a few pieces in the upcoming NFL Draft. They should have a chance to add depth to a line has given up a lot of sacks over the past two seasons. They have other needs, but using the draft to pick up a few young offensive linemen is in their best interest.
Marshall is under contract through the 2014 season and has a contract around $9 million dollars per season. This signing could end all of the Mario Williams rumors that have been floating around. Williams is projected to receive a contract that averages at least $15 million per season. A pass rush combo of Julius Peppers and Williams would rival the Giants for the best pass rush in the NFL. Even if they aren’t able to sign Williams, the Bears took a step in the right direction by trading with Marshall.