This has been a rumor for years now, where it all started in 2009 shortly after the magnificent trade for our franchise QB took place. And, this team is clearly in need of a big time receiver if it wants to compete with the big boys in the NFC. Would it be simpler to sign and/or draft our top target? Perhaps, but now that we've added a former Broncos coach onto the staff, combined with reasons that shall be described after the jump, this possibility is making more sense by the minute.
The date: April 3rd, 2009. The event, the Chicago Bears acquire former Broncos' starting QB Jay Cutler in a blockbuster trade. This is coming off of the best season in his career where now hired Bears QB coach Jeremy Bates was his QB coach in Denver, and Brandon Marshall was his #1 target. Ever since then, the closest thing Jay Cutler has had to a #1 WR is Earl Bennett. Its been 3 years, and he still has yet to throw passes to what people consider a legit #1, nor has he had time to throw. Now, improving the OL is a separate issue, but not being provided a top target is inexcusable. That, ultimately is one of the reasons Jerry Angelo lost his job, because he failed to provide Jay Cutler the talent he needs to truly succeed. Well, now Phil Emery, the new Bears GM, has a chance to right that wrong.
As previously stated, Jay Cutler had the most success when plays were designed to use his mobility and when he had a true top target going down-field for bombs. This sounds like the type of passing game now OC Mike Tice intends on running, but he's still missing a key ingredient, a true #1 target who will go up and get those bombs. While together in Denver, they were considered one of the top passing tandems in the NFL. A Pro Bowl QB throwing to his Pro Bowl WR, that's how you dominate on offense in the NFL. Phil Emery himself stated they need to bring in productive playmakers, and Brandon Marshall happens to be such. In 6 seasons with 2 different teams (Broncos and Dolphins) and 4 different starters at QB (Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Chad Henne, and Matt Moore) he has recorded 494 recs for 6,247 yards and 34 TDs. In those 6 years, he's also had 3 straight seasons where he recorded over 100 recs (2 with Cutler) and has just finished his 5th straight season where he recorded over 1,000 yards. Those numbers are extremely impressive if you ask me. Now, how do we get him for a reasonable price? That shall all be explained in this next paragraph.
Originally, on April 15, 2010, the Denver Broncos traded Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins for 2 second round choices. Now, I don't expect his price to be much if any lower than that, rather some may feel it will be higher. However, this morning fellow WCG member Timothy Hockemeyer presented a simple yet sound explanation in today's edition of The Den in response to my concern as to what I felt was a very small chance this would actually happen:
I'm not so sure....this year the FA market is flooded with wideouts and the draft is deep at the position. The Phins and the Bears both know there are other options for Chicago so it should drive down the trade value considerably.
And, it is true that this year includes both a FA market and a draft that is stacked with talent in the WR position. So, in that regard, Brandon Marshall may not be seen as "irreplaceable" to the Dolphins. Also, the Dolphins are what appears to be in rebuild mode, with a new coaching staff as well as front office which will make philosophical changes both on offense and defense. They need both cap space and draft picks. Many would clamor "Why would they get rid of their best player on offense?". The reason is this: When teams are in rebuild mode, a good number of times teams will trade their best players in an effort to bring in players for their own system. There is no sentimental attachment to Brandon Marshall, and he is the one player on that team who will command multiple draft picks. Nothing is known at the time whether the Dolphins are truly willing to trade Brandon Marshall, but Brandon Marshall has been seen to show interest in reuniting with Jay Cutler on numerous occasions, especially on twitter. What will also drive his price down is his record, granted it has been better in Miami than it was in Denver. Saying that, said record will also include a bit of risk in this trade. So, is a trade likely then? It all depends on Phil Emery.
Phil Emery has already stated they need to bring in playmakers, but, he also has placed a higher emphasis on the draft. If a 1st round pick is included, forget it. You may also want to forget trading Lance Briggs to another team, let alone the Dolphins because even if they are switching to a 4-3, I don't see how Lovie Smith would tolerate losing one of his best players on defense. I do feel, though, if the price is just right to a point a 1st rounder isn't included, Phil Emery could pull the trigger. He himself understands we need WRs, and it would be even better if it was someone who had a ton of success with their current franchise QB in the past. They've already hired Jeremy Bates because of his work with Cutty, now maybe its time to grab his favorite former target from Denver. On top of that, not only does their franchise QB have connections with Brandon Marshall, but now a member of their coaching staff has connections with said player as well. The pressure on Emery to call the 'Phins and inquire about the former standout Bronco might be at an all time high. After all, we need productive playmakers on offense, and Brandon Marshall happens to be just that. What say you?