Why Did the Miami Dolphins Trade Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears?

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24:   Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins reacts during a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In a stunning move, the Miami Dolphins have traded Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a pair of third-round draft picks, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

This is an absolutely stunning move on Miami's part.

Granted, Marshall didn't become the dominant wideout he was in Denver, but he did catch 167 passes for 2,228 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons—and that was with Chad Henne and Matt Moore at the helm. 

There's no telling what Marshall could've done with Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn under center, but we'll never know. 

Now, why did the Dolphins make this trade?

Well, there's a chance the team is creating cap space for Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and friends, but recent reports suggest that Miami isn't a legitimate contender for Manning. 

Is the front office disillusioned? Is Manning secretly leaning towards signing with the Dolphins? Did Manning tell the Dolphins to trade Marshall?

There are a ton of conspiracies to throw around here, but we have to consider the possibility that Manning is quietly favoring the 'Fins. By trading Marshall, the Dolphins have freed up cap space, which they can use to shore up their positions of needs. 

Still, it's difficult to understand exactly why Jeff Ireland pulled the trigger on this deal.

Marshall was the team's most dynamic player and he was just coming into his own in Miami.

The Dolphins are undoubtedly worse without Marshall. Let's not forget dropped 12 passes last season (second most in the NFL), but the team is now devoid of a legitimate number one receiver. Unless Miami lands Peyton Manning or another elite wide receiver, there's going to be massive backlash from this trade.

Hopefully more details will trickle down over the next few hours. Stay tuned.