Dolphins take step back, trade Marshall

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
4:24
PM ET
The first free-agency shocker in the AFC East comes from the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round draft picks.

Here are some thoughts on move:
  • From a football standpoint, this is a step in the wrong direction. Marshall was, by far, Miami's best receiver and arguably the team's best player last season. To trade one of your top players away is one thing. But to only get two third-round picks for Marshall is a bad move. Keep in mind, the Dolphins traded two second-round picks to acquire Marshall from Denver two years ago. The Dolphins needed to add a starting receiver this offseason, not get rid of one. Now Miami is in the market for two starting-caliber receivers and just gave away one of the most productive pass catchers in the NFL.
  • From a non-football standpoint, I'm sure Miami had its reasons. A new coaching staff is coming in, and that usually means coaches want their type of players in the locker room. Marshall was not always the easiest player to have on the roster. He can be unpredictable at times and has a strong personality. Miami rookie head coach Joe Philbin is trying to establish his program with the Dolphins and probably didn't want to have any wild cards in his locker room.
  • Marshall gets to reunite with former teammate and quarterback Jay Cutler in Chicago. He should be happy about that. This move makes the Bears a playoff contender, and the price wasn't steep. But despite immense production, this is Marshall's third team in seven years, which says something. Since 2007, Marshall ranks second in the NFL in receptions (474) and fifth in receiving yards (5,938). But teams keep trading him.
  • I'm not sure what, if anything, this means for free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning. There has been some speculation and rumors that Manning was unsure about playing with Marshall. But on the other hand, trading away a Pro Bowl receiver is an odd way of convincing Manning to come to Miami. The Dolphins are still awaiting word from Manning as free agency is officially underway.

Those are my thoughts on the Marshall trade. What's your take: Good move or bad move?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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