Brandon Marshall: The Right Move for the Chicago Bears

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMarch 22, 2012

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 29:  Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins gestures a 'shaka' after being named the most valueable player for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 29, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Many things rushed through my head when the Chicago Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, including all of the negatives associated with him during his career. He's certainly not a choir boy, but under the circumstances, this was the move the team had to make.

I initially thought two third-round draft choices was a cheap price for a receiver with the numbers he has attained so far in his career. Then the news came out about the incident involving him in New York, and it made a bit more sense.

Even though it seems he's not going to face any criminal prosecution in that case, Miami, with a new coach, probably thought he wasn't worth the aggravation.

Though he can be a distraction, he was too good for the Bears to pass up based on their needs. On paper, he immediately becomes the best receiver in the history of the franchise.

He's had five straight seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards, and has caught over 100 passes three times.

He adds a big receiver who can get go up and get the ball, along with a relationship he formed with Jay Cutler in Denver. Instead of smurfs to throw to, Cutler finally has a go-to receiver.

He's not the perfect player. He's had multiple run-ins with the law. He finished tied for second in the league last year in drops with 12. Some say he can be a cancer in the locker room, but none of that matters.

For the Bears, the only thing that matters is the upcoming season. They're not getting any younger, especially on defense.

If they don't win it this year, they may have one more season before they need a complete overhaul on the defensive side of the ball.

Trading for Marshall was a risky move, but it was the right one.

Remember the commotion when the Chicago Bulls traded for Dennis Rodman? Three championships later, I don't think anyone was concerned any more.

I'm not saying there are three consecutive Super Bowls in the cards for the Bears with Marshall, but it gives them a chance they wouldn't otherwise have.

When the opportunity is there, you have to go for it, and that's what they're doing.

Today, they added running back Michael Bush, so stealing the Chicago White Sox motto from last year, "They're all in."

It didn't work that well for the Sox last year, but that doesn't mean it won't work for the Bears, though running back Matt Forte started chirping again after the Bush move.

The team has put the franchise tag on him, which equates to $7.7 million next year, but he wants a long-term contract and feels he's being taken advantage of while others get his money.

He could hold out, but the addition of Bush is a hedge against that. The Bears could decide to trade him if he's not happy and see what his value is.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered. The draft is coming up next month, and we'll see if new GM Phil Emery is as adept at that as he seems to be so far in free agency.

There are a lot of holes to fill, and a good draft would go a long way towards doing that.

That will be the true test for Emery, since the draft is supposed to be his specialty. Of course, you still need to develop the players you draft. That hasn't been a strong suit for the current regime under Lovie Smith.

The 2012 season is going to have a lot to say about the future of the team, including a possible extension for Smith if they have a successful year.

Bringing in Marshall and Bush definitely increases the likelihood of that happening.

Hopefully, Emery will be as astute when making that decision as he has been so far in free agency.