BOSTON (CBS) — Just minutes before free agency officially began across the NFL, the Dolphins kicked off the frenzy with a trade that nobody saw coming.
According to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Dolphins have traded star wideout Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in exchange for two third-round draft picks.
The move is surprising, considering that Marshall was by far the team’s leading receiver last year with 81 catches for 1,214 yards and six touchdowns. His 1,214 yards were more than twice as many as any other Dolphin.
Presumably, the Dolphins could be clearing Marshall and his $9 million salary in 2012 in order to make moves at the beginning of free agency.
Marshall gave the Patriots fits last season, catching 13 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown in two games this season. In seven career games against New England, Marshall has 37 catches for 570 yards, though his teams are 2-5 in those contests.
The trade reunites Jay Cutler with Brandon Marshall. The two played together in Denver from 2006-08, with Marshall averaging 103 catches, 1,295 yards and 6.5 TDs in the final two years.