First, I want to congratulate the Miami Dolphins for doing the dynamic thing, the difficult thing, the courageous thing in acquiring Brandon Marshall today. Only time will tell if it is the right thing but we'll get to that in a bit.
Marshall is scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale this afternoon. The Dolphins finally announced the trade was made at approximately 11:22 a.m. They are saying the trade is for undisclosed draft picks. Those picks are a second-rounder this year and a second next year.
[Update: The Denver Broncos also confirmed the trade and confirmed the parameters. It is indeed for two second round picks, one in 2010 and one in 2011.]
"I'd like to welcome my new teammate to Miami," receiver Brian Hartline said on his twitter earlier.
This is on, its face, a big-time get for the Dolphins. Frankly, there is no second-round pick this year that would have brought the instant productivity that Marshall is going to bring. Did the Dolphins pay a steep price? Sure.
But Ferraris are expensive, folks.
You will learn just how expensive when Marshall agrees to the details of an already set five-year contract worth $50 million. Details of that deal are not yet available but I'm told they've been agreed to.
The basis for the contract talks that happened the last two days between Marshall's agent and the Dolphins was simple: Marshall wants to be the highest paid WR in the NFL. This contract probably accomplishes that.
[Update: Adam Shefter of ESPN.com reports the deal is a four-year extension added to the one-year restricted free agent tender Marshall signed Tuesday and includes $24 million in guaranteed money. The deal is indeed for five years and $50 million.]
Marshall is not a speed receiver and has averaged only 12.1 yards per catch over his career. But he is dependable, he forces defenses to account for him, and he is a huge target for young quarterback Chad Henne. He is a red zone nightmare to match up with. He opens things up for other receivers on the field.
In short, Marshall on the field does everything the Dolphins offense has lacked in a wide receiver for many, many years.
Does Marshall make the Dolphins the favorite to win the AFC East? No.
Remember the team still has significant and worriesome holes to fill at outside linebacker, nose tackle, free safety and left guard. Also remember the Broncos never made the playoffs despite having Marshall on their team the past four years.
So don't buy your tickets to Dallas, site of the next Super Bowl, just yet.
But this does give the Dolphins a chance to be competitive in a division where the Jets will have Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, and the Patriots offense comes with Randy Moss. Do the Dolphins now go into games versus the Jets believing at least one of their WRs can get open against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie?
This trade gives Fins Nation hope.
This trade will have a bigtime ripple effect on the Miami receiver corps -- you know, the one coach Tony Sparano said he was pleased with.
The Dolphins keep five wide receivers. And they now have 10 wide receivers on the roster. Somebody is going to go. Ted Ginn Jr. is on the trade block. He may have played his final game for the Dolphins. Second-year wideout Patrick Turner was billed as a Marshall clone at 6-5 and 220 pounds. But he has not produced and unless he has a very good training camp, he may never play a game for the Dolphins
Marshall is estatic with this trade, according to one former teammate. He wanted three things this offseason: He wanted to marry his fiancee, he wanted to sign a contract that paid him what he believed he's worth, and he wanted, if possible, to play closer to his home state of Florida.
Marshall was willing to live anywhere and play for anyone to accomplish the first two goals. He hit the jackpot in that the Dolphins wanted him and now he's coming back to Florida, a rich, married man.
This moves comes with responsibility. He must continue to produce at a high level. He's going to be paid like the best wide receiver in the NFL, the Dolphins expect him to play like it.
He also has to stay out of trouble. Marshall has a long record of arrests and run-ins with the law. There are multiple handfuls of domestic violence and other violence incidents and reports in which he was involved.
He has already been suspended by the NFL once for breaking the league's conduct policy. The next offense would bring him a four-game suspension or more.
In that regard, Marshall is a risk. He cannot be a great player if he's not on the field. He cannot be on the field if he's suspended or in some sort of trouble. So the risk exists.
But the rewards? The Dolphins are banking those will be fabulous.
[BLOG NOTE: I will be on here live starting at 1 p.m. for a live chat with you. Be here at 1 p.m. and we'll break this thing down.]