On Wednesday, the Chicago Bears had a visit with Free Agent wide receiver Brian Hartline. On Friday, it was reported that they will trade Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets.
Aaron Leming first reported the trade Friday morning, which was later confirmed by Adam Schefter.
Brandon Marshall was originally acquired by Chicago for two 3rd-round draft picks from the Miami Dolphins, and instantly re-connected with Jay Cutler both on and off the field.
Marshall saw two straight Pro Bowls in 2012 and 2013, before seeing his 2014 season shortened by injury to his ribs and lung. Prior to the injury, Marshall had seen a dip in production, which mirrored the offensive struggles that the rest of the offense was experiencing.
In May of 2014, Marshall signed a 3-year, $30 million contract extension. A key date for Marshall this current offseason was March 12th: On that date Marshall's $7.5 million salary would have been fully guaranteed. Of course, this helps with cap space, but the drama that came from the 2014 failure of a season did not bring out the best in Marshall.
While he will go down as the best wide receiver the Chicago Bears have had in history (to date), the new general manager and head coach combo obviously did not see him in their 2015 plans. How much his injury played into the decision we will never know, but aside from the circus that was the 2014 season, Marshall contributed more than ever expected for the Chicago Bears.
We understand that Marshall is being traded to the Jets for a late-round draft pick, providing that he passes his physical.
EDIT: The Bears will get a 5th round pick from the Jets.