After the Chicago Bears had an abysmal season in 2014, there was a general understanding that a mass exodus was coming.
With a new coaching staff and general manager in place – the time to shed even more personnel is upon us.
First, it was reported today that Lance Briggs will not return to Chicago in 2015.
— Jen Lada (@JenLada) March 5, 2015
Secondly, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that the Bears are actively shopping Brandon Marshall.
Was this expected? Yes.
Is it necessarily the right move? I don’t think so.
Up until last season, Brandon Marshall’s emotional nature was never a problem in Chicago. When he was producing (and healthy) under Lovie Smith, no one batted an eye.
I always say, “when the going gets tough people tend to overreact the most, but when times are good we take for granted what we have.”
The 2014 Chicago Bears were an excellent example of that. But we’ve reached a reality.
The reality is that a lot of the Bears nation favorites are going to be heading for the Halas Hall exits this offseason.
And if Brandon Marshall happens to be one of them, I expect these three teams to be heavily involved in trying to acquire his services.
San Diego Chargers
A fake Twitter account posing as Ian Rapoport tweeted earlier today that Brandon Marshall had in fact been traded to San Diego for a mid-round draft pick. Of course, that report was 100 percent false.
But let’s be honest, the Chargers make sense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheel) March 5, 2015
San Diego is about $24 million under the salary cap this offseason. They could use another weapon in their passing game, as Antonio Gates will be 35 when the season starts and Keenan Allen has suffered a handful of injuries in his first two seasons.
Allen is surely the future, but plugging a talent like Marshall in at Philip Rivers‘ disposal would add another dimension to an already solid passing game.
The Indianapolis Colts have a lot of money to spend this offseason—roughly $44 million. And, unfortunately, Reggie Wayne is on his way out.
Wayne turns 37 during the season, and if 2014 was any indication of Wayne’s declining ability – then he’ll see about 15 snaps all season.
Donte Moncrief is very talented, but still quite raw. So if Andrew Luck gains an established veteran like Brandon Marshall alongside T.Y. Hilton – the Indianapolis Colts would become an instant Super Bowl contender.
Not to mention, they’ll have a lot of money still left over.
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams were a very up-and-down team in 2014. After losing Sam Bradford to an ACL tear in the preseason, both Austin Davis and Shaun Hill were left with the burden of helping the team limp to its 6-10 record.
One thing they lacked desperately on offense was veteran leadership, which is something Marshall would provide. However, Marshall wouldn’t be the same answer for the Rams as it would be for a team like the Colts or even the Chargers.
St. Louis is still a few years away, but they have some very strong cornerstone pieces to build around. Brandon Marshall would be a huge get as they continue to progress forward in their rebuild.
Any way you spin it, all signs point to Brandon Marshall being on his way out of Chicago.
While this is strictly business, and trading Marshall would strictly be a business decision, I’m not necessarily saying it’s the right one.
Sure, 2014 had its drama. But Brandon Marshall wasn’t the only person wrapped up in it. In fact, Brandon Marshall seemed like the only Bears player who actually gave a shit.
Nonetheless, if Marshall is traded before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on March 10th, it’ll mark another unhealthy departure from his third NFL team.
Fair or not, that one is tough to argue against.
(Featured Photo courtesy of mjglasgow)