Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 3/16/12

MIAMI - AUGUST 14: Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins warms up prior to playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

With one big exception - Peyton Manning - most of the big names of free agency have landed already. But none of the players signed so far stand to have as big an impact as Brandon Marshall, acquired by the Chicago Bears in trade. Is it too early to declare da Bears the big winners of this offseason? With holes still to patch on their offensive line and the Matt Forte contract situation still unresolved, yes. But the Marshall trade puts them in the running right away.

This was robbery, plain and simple. Marshall's salary - $27 million over the next three years -  is extremely reasonable for his talent and production. Especially when you look at the dollars trucked out by Washington for two receivers whose talents combined don't match up to the new Bear. And the price paid by Chicago - a pair of third-rounders - might as well be free. Especially when you look at how both the Bears and Dolphins have used their third rounders recently. 

Successful Bears 3rd round picks 2002: LB Lance Briggs ('03), WR Bernard Berrian ('04), WR Earl Bennett ('08), CB Major Wright ('10)

Successful Dolphins 3rd round picks since 2002: DE Kendall Langford ('08), LB Channing Crowder ('05)

The Bears have a decent track record of finding talent in the third, so there is a little opportunity cost for Chicago, but nothing compared to the benefit reaped by getting top-three pick talent. Meanwhile, the Dolphins might as well have acquired a three-legged horse and a square-wheeled bicycle in exchange for Marshall, for all the good they're going to do with their picks.

Miami squandering draft picks traded to them in exchange for good players is nothing new. Few remember this now, but they actually received a good package of draft value for Wes Welker, originally an undrafted player. The Patriots paid a 2nd and 7th round pick for Welker's services back in 2007. But that Miami draft class, headlined by Ted Ginn Jr. and John Beck, was stunningly awful. 

The picks that New England surrendered turned into two seasons of inconsistent center Samson Satele and a punter. That in exchange for the player who led the league in receiving last season. The Brandon Marshall deal may turn out similarly, unless there are circumstances that we don't know about. 

As Daniel Eliesen writes on PhinsPhocus.com: "I took sometime and let it digest and decided that it is impossible that this is a singular move and that this trade had to set up another move by Ireland and crew." Dave Hyde of the Miami Sentinel goes a step further and says that the move only makes sense if Peyton Manning is involved. But Peyton now appears to be leaning strongly toward staying in the AFC South, and plan B, Matt Flynn, is beeing wooed passionately by the Seattle Seahawks.  

Reports of Marshall being involved in a possible assault outside a New York nightclub surfaced just hours after the deal was done, giving Dolphins fans a ready justification for letting the receiver walk away. That alone may prevent Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland from being ridden out of town on a rail, as Miami's nightmare offseason continues.

In the final calculation, though, talent wins games. The Bears just acquired the biggest talent available in this free agency pool, and will happily take on the job of trying to keep him in line. And the same Dolphins that went winless for the first two months of 2011, fall even further in talent while playing in one of the NFL's strongest divisions. 

So, how 'bout those Marlins?

[Follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker