|Although Marshall has Jay Cutler as his QB again, their combined record was a mere 15-17. (Getty Images)|
There will be declarations that Chicago's trading for Brandon Marshall will put them in the Super Bowl. That is actually quite possible. Marshall is that good, but as with many things about Marshall there is always a catch.
The Bears gave Miami two third-round picks for Miami. Third-rounders aren't first-rounders but that is not an insignificant amount of capital the Bears gave up. Justin Tuck, Frank Gore, Lance Briggs, Jason Witten, Brian Westbrook and wide receiver Steve Smith, among other talents, were third-round picks.
The fact Miami so easily jettisoned Marshall is also a cause for concern. Why would they dump a talented receiver after just a few years after signing him? One league official believes that Peyton Manning isn't a huge fan of Marshall's and getting rid of the troubled wide receiver is a form of Manning bait.
Marshall is a fantastic talent but there remain great risks in acquiring him. This is not a no-brainer trade. Far from it.
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The good news for Chicago is that the Bears get a fast, strong and brutally efficient player who will pair with quarterback Jay Cutler. That could potentially be a fearful duo giving defensive coordinators sleepless nights. Throw in Matt Forte and that is a frightening offense. If the Bears add Mario Williams to the defense then that's a damn good team. At least on paper.
The Bears need more firepower if they are going to stay with division rival and Super Bowl power Green Bay. Chicago needed to make a huge move and this might be the one that puts them past the Packers. At least, in theory it might.
But remember Marshall's background and why he was traded to Miami from Denver. And also remember this: when Cutler and Marshall were in Denver their combined record was 15-17 over two years. That's not so great.
This might be the free agency of the bad boy wide receiver. Randy Moss signs with the 49ers and Vincent Jackson, who got into some epic battles in San Diego with Chargers management, is also one of the top free agents. Jackson was suspended for three games in 2010 for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He has also twice been arrested for driving under the influence.
Marshall has said publicly he suffers from borderline personality disorder and has stated that disorder has accounted for some of his personal issues. As a college player he was arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. In 2007, he was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend. The charges were dismissed after Marshall completed anger management counseling. Also that year he was arrested for driving under the influence. Those charges were later reduced to driving while impaired.
He has lived a chaotic existence and that is what makes this move a huge risk for the Bears. It's not just about the picks (which are important). It's about whether Marshall will be a distraction. Will he be focused? Will his personal choices be more intelligent? Are the periods of arrest and turmoil over?
Can Marshall completely clean up his life?
If the reason the Dolphins dumped Marshall was to make the team more attractive to Manning then this makes sense. If that's not accurate, then you have to wonder why a Miami team that needs all of the offensive weaponry it can would get rid of him?
"That's the league for you," tweeted Miami running back Reggie Bush, "one day [you're here] next day [you're] gone. Chicago is getting one hell of a player!"
They are, but the question is which Marshall did the Bears get? Did they get a Marshall that is ready to live a clean life?
Or the one Miami couldn't wait to dump?