The most talked-about pass from the Thursday night game between the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins was not even made by a quarterback or on the field of play.
It involved Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
After making a catch for a first down early in the second quarter and being forced out of bounds, Marshall flipped the ball at Cutler standing on the sidelines.
Cutler said something to his former Broncos teammate as Marshall jogged back onto the field. The referee immediately threw a flag, and Marshall was penalized 15 yards for taunting.
It looked like a razzing between two friends and former teammates, but Mike Greenberg of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning suggested the exchange might have been a little more complicated than that.
Greenberg stated that many people around NFL circles believed Cutler didn’t want any part of a potential reunion with Marshall in Chicago.
This past March, the All-Pro wide receiver was on the trading block, and the Bears seemed like a viable option. The Bears lacked a No. 1 receiver, and many thought the disgruntled Marshall would be a great addition. Cutler and Marshall connected for 13 touchdowns in their 36 games together on the Denver Broncos from 2006-2008.
Marshall didn't speak to the media after the game, while Cutler downplayed the incident when asked during the post-game press conference.
"Brandon's a competitor," he said. "I was getting after him early in the game, telling him he wasn't going to catch any balls.
"He's just a competitor."