The Bears on Tuesday addressed their need for a big, physical playmaking wide receiver by acquiring Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for undisclosed draft picks.
The trade reunites Marshall with quarterback Jay Cutler. The two developed into Pro Bowlers while playing their first three NFL seasons together with the Broncos from 2006-08. Denver selected Marshall in the fourth round of the 2006 draft (119th overall) after picking Cutler in the first round (11th).
As Cutler’s primary target with the Broncos, Marshall caught 102 passes for a career-high 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns in 2007 and had a career-high 104 receptions for 1,265 yards and 6 TDs in 2008.
Marshall will wear No. 15 with the Bears, the same number he donned in Denver.
The 6-4, 230-pounder has posted five straight 1,000-yard seasons, three with the Broncos and two with the Dolphins. Marshall was traded from Denver to Miami on April 14, 2010 in exchange for two second-round draft picks. On the same day, he agreed to a contract extension through 2014.
Marshall, who will turn 28 next week, is a three-time Pro Bowler. He set the NFL record for most receptions in a game with 21 in a 2009 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.
Marshall joins the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald and the Falcons’ Roddy White as the only NFL players to have over 1,000 yards receiving in each of the last five years. In addition, Marshall has hauled in over 80 receptions in each of those seasons.
The last time he stepped on the field, Marshall was named Pro Bowl MVP after catching four touchdown passes.
Marshall’s 494 career receptions in six NFL seasons are two more than Bears all-time leader Walter Payton and 138 more than the top wide receiver on the list, Johnny Morris (356).