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One star wide receiver who wasn’t expected to find a new home was shockingly shipped Tuesday from South Florida to the Midwest at the start of the free-agent signing period.
FOXSports.com has learned that the Miami Dolphins have agreed to trade Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for third-round picks in 2012 and 2013.
Marshall will now reunite with Jay Cutler, who was his quarterback with the Denver Broncos from 2006 to 2008.
The Bears were planning to enter the free-agent market in hopes of signing at least one top-flight wide receiver. Although many thought it was Vincent Jackson, they decided to swing the deal for Marshall.
The move now leaves the Dolphins in search of a new No. 1 wideout under first-year head coach Joe Philbin.
Marshall is coming off his best season with the Dolphins, catching 81 passes for 1,214 yards and six touchdowns. But a combination of off-field issues and the inability to form a strong bond with either of Miami’s past two starting quarterbacks (Matt Moore and Chad Henne) put a damper on some of that success.
Marshall had some of the same types of problems in Denver, which led to his 2010 trade to the Dolphins. Marshall has posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons for five straight years.
Marshall, who turns 28 on March 23, has $6 million of his $9.3 million base salary for 2012 guaranteed provided he doesn’t receive another NFL suspension. Marshall is also under contract to the Bears for 2013 and 2014 at $9.1 million a season.