Thursday, March 27, 2014
Marshall not worried about extension
When the Chicago Bears restructured Jay Cutler's contract to clear cap space, speculation surfaced that it was to enable the Bears to sign All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall to a long-term extension.
Instead, Chicago signed free-agent DE Jared Allen to a four-year deal, and Marshall is heading toward the last year of his contract.
While some might expect an athlete to feel slighted by a lack of an extension, Marshall is taking the opposite approach. A recognized team leader, Marshall is hosting teammates for workouts in Florida. And he's glad the Bears acquired Allen, making the team stronger as Marshall pursues the first postseason experience of his career.
"I have another year left on my contract. If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, I'm glad to be a Bear for another year and I'm going to force them to sign me after next year," Marshall said Thursday on the "Waddle & Silvy" show on ESPN Chicago 1000. "One way or another, they're going to get the deal done.
"But if it comes down to next year, I'll be picketing outside of Halas Hall for a new deal, a new contract, because I'm not going anyplace."
Marshall has established himself as perhaps the greatest receiver in Bears history in just two seasons, each of which featured at least 100 catches and 1,295 yards. Are the Bears risking paying a higher price if they let Marshall add to his impressive resume in the 2014 season?
"I'm not going anywhere, man," Marshall said. "The guys that are out there now, like Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, they're making $16 million, $15 million a year, and I'm not looking for anything like that. A lot of that money goes to the quarterback position, and rightfully so.
"For me, we do want to sign guys like Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, and we got Martellus [Bennett] last year and have Matt Forte. I do want to be in a good position, but at the same time I definitely am not trying to be in the $15 million range. I get a year to deal with that, and right now I'm focusing on how to be a better teammate. How can I grow as a receiver, as a man, as a leader on this team and also in the community? How can our foundation do bigger things? That stuff is going to take care of itself. We have all year to figure that out, and I believe we'll get it done before the end of the season and I'm going to be happy when we do."