The Chicago Bears haven't done much so far in John Fox's first off-season as head coach, with no real speculation about players coming in circulating.
One star could be leaving however. In a piece of news that will come as a shock to many supporters, the Bears could be looking to trade Brandon Marshall.
According to a report from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears are exploring potential trade options for the star wide receiver.
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The Bears declined to commit to Marshall when asked about the veteran wide receiver's future last month and now the team is looking at what they can get for the 30-year old five days before the start of the new league year.
The effort to move Marshall is an attempt by new general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox to "clean up the locker room," according to Rapoport. If that is what they are doing, then it is no surprise they are starting with Marshall.
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Marshall seemed to fall out of favour with the organization last year when he publicly criticised quarterback Jay Cutler after another poor game in which the Bears struggled badly. Cutler was incredibly bad last season though so you can't really blame Marshall for calling him out, someone had to. Even Aaron Kromer started getting at Cutler anonymously.
The key date to keep in mind with Marshall is March 12, that's when the wide receiver's base salary of $7.5 million for 2015 becomes fully guaranteed. If the Bears do end up shopping Marshall then it will likely be for less than the two third round draft picks that they had to spend to get him from the Dolphins in 2012.
Marshall turns 31 at the end of this month and the Bears could end up saving $4.5m of cap space if they ended up releasing him.
Ever since coming in from Miami, Marshall has been an excellent asset to the Bears. In his three seasons, Marshall has been named to the Pro Bowl twice and had his best season as a pro with the team in his first year at Soldier Field. Last season was injury disrupted but Marshall still ended up with over 700 receiving yards from 61 receptions and eight touchdowns.
If the Bears do get rid of Marshall then it seems that they could be lining up Brian Hartline to come in as a potential replacement.
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