By Brian Hanley-
(CBS) Nice start, Phil Emery.
When the thing that comes closest to questioning a Bears general manager’s move is why the team underpaid for a player, that is progress.
Score NFL expert Hub Arkush wondered on The Boers and Bernstein Show how come the Bears didn’t have to cough up more than two third-round draft picks to land Brandon Marshall in the trade with the Miami Dolphins.
Maybe Emery is just better at this GM thing than Jerry Angelo ever was.
While we fans were wondering whether the Bears would choose defensive end Mario Williams over Vincent Jackson, Emery and his staff swept in and made the trade that reunites Bears quarterback with Marshall, the receiver with whom Cutler shared his best statistical season in Denver.
Bully for Emery if had the savvy to first figure out that Peyton Manning had little use for Marshall, as some speculate, and that the Dolphins would be in a hurry to impress Manning by unloading Marshall ASAP to woo the league’s top free agent in history.
Cutler’s campaigned for Marshall since he became the Bears QB, most recently via Tweets to Marshall.
Talk about a bargain. The Dolphins gave up two second-round picks to get Marshall in 2010. He has five straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and he was the MVP of the 2012 Pro Bowl, with four touchdown receptions.
Marshall, and his $9 million salary next season, also is a much more friendly salary cap hit than Jackson would be. Jackson is likely now headed to Tampa, where he should cash a contract upwards of five years and $50 million.
Which leaves more money to throw at Williams, whose price tag continues to climb Tuesday with the likes of Buffalo and Seattle joining in pursuit of the man who would help heal the Bears defense.
Upon his arrival at Halas Hall, Marshall becomes the team’s best wide receiver in almost a decade. Which isn’t saying much given the Bears hold the league’s longest stretch–eight seasons–without a player surpassing 1,000 yards.
Marshall, 27, comes from the Miami Dolphins where he caught 81 passes for 1,214 yards and six touchdowns last season.
The 6-4 Marshall instantly gives the Bears’ offense, now under first-year coordinator Mike Tice, a big-time playmaker. The Bears had an extra third-round pick in this year’s draft from the Panthers for the Greg Olsen trade. It’s not known what specific picks were sent to the Dolphins.
Marshall also is now reunited with Jeremy Bates, now the Bears quarterback coach, who worked with Cutler and Marshall in Denver.
Again, nice start, Mr. Emery. Now back to work.
Brian Hanley is the co-host of The Mully and Hanley Show, heard weekday mornings from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. on 670 The Score.