The Chicago Bears just pulled off a trade for Brandon Marshall in exchange for two third-round draft picks and, while admittedly a year or so later than they should have done it, it gives their offense a completely new dynamic that a Bears team has not had...really since I have been alive.
The Bears have had some decent receivers; Marty Booker had a couple seasons where he caught 95+ passes, Marcus Robinson had flashes of greatness, Bernard Berrian could go deep, Bobby Engram was always Mr. Reliable and Muhsin was OK—never phenomenal, but solid for the first year or two.
But never has that been that ONE receiver that defenses had to scheme for. Never a game changer. Brandon Marshall solves a lot of the problems of the Bears' offense.
(Not all problems, the offensive line still frightens me, but a lot of problems).
Marshall's signing allows for a nice trickle down effect. His presence makes Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett better. Knox will now have more chances downfield as the opposing safety is going to have to account for Marshall over the middle now. Bennett will be facing more single coverage and he has proven to be reliable, sure-handed and tough.
And of course, with a legit receiver, that will help Matt Forte, as he will be facing less eight-man defensive fronts, and Jay Cutler as he has his favorite target back in the fold.
But the back line of this story is this: with the Bears trading for a No. 1 receiver, they no longer have to get into a bidding war with for the likes of Vincent Jackson or Plaxico Burress.
It solves their receiver problem and it still leaves them with plenty of cap space to chase the big-time player left out there—Mario Williams.
Should Mario Williams be the Bears' No. 1 target in free agency?
The Bears are playing with something in the range of $30 million for free agency. To be fair, some of that money goes to resigning current players, but when it comes down to it, the Bears should still be one of the front runners in terms of money available to offer, which is why the trade for Marshall was so huge.
Before the trade, most Bears fans had conceded that they could either get a big-time receiver or a big-time defensive player due to the financial limitations.
Now...that is no longer the case.
So if new GM Phil Emery can somehow sign Williams to go along with the trade, he starts out in the eyes of Bears fans with an A+.