When Brandon Marshall became available for trade for the discount price of a fifth-round draft pick, the New York Jets wisely made the deal, even though the All-Pro wideout was labeled a malcontent. As it turns out, as much as the Bears may have wanted to unload Marshall, he had some good reasons for wanting out of Chicago himself.
As Marshall explained to Albert Breer for TheMMQB.com, he had two issues with the Bears. One, as was rumored about for some time, was his deteriorating relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler. The second, on the other hand, was a bit more of a surprise.
At the time, Marshall had just started doing the Inside the NFL program on Showtime. However, the Bears took issue with him pursuing his broadcast career during the season, at which point he knew things weren’t going to work out with the organization.
“When I sat down with (GM) Ryan Pace and coach John Fox, we met, and I asked, ‘What do you guys think about this?’ It was a big topic,” Marshall said. “And Ryan Pace said, ‘Well, we can do that in the offseason.’ So I was like, ‘Well, what about half the season?’ ‘No.’ ‘What about once or twice?’ ‘No.’ ‘What about bye week?’ ‘No, you can do that in the offseason.’
“Right then, I knew I wouldn’t be a Bear anymore, because I think that the business of the NFL is growing every single day, and players are being told to stay in a box and just play football, and we’re missing out on a lot of opportunities, not only to grow as men and businessmen but to experience different things.”
Marshall was traded in 2015 after having his worst season since his rookie year with 61 catches for 721 yards and eight touchdowns. Many thought declining talent and a bad attitude were to blame. Then Marshall went on to enjoy the best season of his career with the Jets at 31 years of age, posting 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns. Oh, and he does Inside the NFL regularly.
It was an odd stand for the Bears to take with one of their best players, and it led to them trading a six-time Pro Bowler for next to nothing.