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Free agency has arrived! Bye-bye Brandon Marshall

The Dolphins have traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round selections, according to Jay Glazer of Foxsports.com.

[Update: The Herald has confirmed this move.]

The move clears salary cap room and could signal a precursor to the Dolphins landing Peyton Manning as well as several of his former Indianapolis Colts teammates, including Reggie Wayne. That is my hope.

The more likely scenario?

This move does not show intent to get Manning and is instead a move to protect the next quarterback the Dolphins bring to town -- anyone that is, including a lesser player such as Matt Flynn -- because Marshall has had a history of feuding with his QBs in Miami. This move is a way for the Dolphins to begin what will be a total revamp of the offense under new coach Joe Philbin.

[Update: Club source says this trade is independent of Manning chase. Manning didn't request it or anything such as being speculated. Been in the works since the NFL Combine in Feb. But, I'm told, if Manning comes it would mean other moves would be necessary.]

The trade reunites Marshall with former quarterback Jay Cutler which is great for the Bears. But does this make the Dolphins better?

Only if Manning and another player is coming or the Dolphins are somehow adding a bigtime playmaking wide receiver in free agency or the draftis this a net plus. This much is certain: If the Dolphins are not working on or ready to pull the trigger on a follow-up move, this shows the Marshall move two years ago to have been a bad move.

The Dolphins yielded two second-round picks to Denver for Marshall. They are not getting the same value in return. Yes, Marshall was a Pro Bowl player in 2011, but he was also often a problem in that he feuded with Chad Henne and made no bones of the fact he wanted a franchise quarterback.

Oh, by the way, NFL free agency arrives ... now!

It is 4:01 p.m. on March 13, 2012 and so bracketology schmacketology. The news at this hour?

Say good-bye to nose tackle Paul Soliai. The Dolphins do not expect to re-sign their 2011 Franchise player. Not only have the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a long-term contract the past two years but the Dolphins, apparently intent on making a quarterback splash in free agency and knowing Soliai won't come cheaply, haven't made the nose tackle any contract offers in recent weeks.

There has been no movement on this front whatever. Barring a major MAJOR change, Soliai is gone. So where is he going? Soliai will have suitors. The teams expected to show the most interest in Soliai include Kansas City, Denver, Atlanta, Indianiapolis and perhaps San Francisco.

[Update: The Dolphins have in the last hour reached out to Soliai and are talking. So there's still a chance he stays.]

The Dolphins have another starter on the open market in defensive end Kendall Langford. The sides have been in relatively frequent contact the past week or so. The Dolphins want Langford back. Langford wants to return. But Langford wants the most amount of money possible. The Dolphins want to re-sign Langford at a number that shows they like him very much but don't necessarily love him.

What a shocker: It's a money thing.

On the chase front, the Dolphins are obviously still hoping to land Peyton Manning. But, as I reported earlier today, they will move on to Matt Flynn if the Manning chase fails. A source tells The Herald's Barry Jackson that Flynn will be patient in free agency unless someone throws a huge offer on the table for him immediately.

Yes, Seattle and Cleveland could have interest. But the Flynn camp understands the Dolphins being in the chase would drive up interest and potentially drive up Flynn's price. And since money is the thing, patience will be something Flynn shows.

He's looking to go deep on this contract rather than get a check-down deal.

I am not certain the Dolphins will be major players in free agency -- at least not early on. The club is approximately $11-$12 million under the NFL's $120.6 million salary cap before the Marshall trade. Obviously that is more now, but I have to figure out the ramifications.

Miami's needs include pass-rusher, right tackle, and cornerback. Of all those, the cornerback market seems expecially rich this free agency period. Yes, right tackle Eric Winston and outside linebacker/defensive end Mario Williams are the prizes on the market, but they will be so expensive I cannot see Miami chasing or landing either. (Wrote about it anyway because I'm a dreamer and anything is possible.)

[Update: I have confirmed that Eric Winston will visit with the Dolphins. This doesn't mean he's signing. A lot of teams are interested -- up to a dozen -- and he is not going to sign a bargain contract. But he is scheduled to visit at this time.]

[Update: Eric Winston said on Sirius radio that he will fly to South Florida tonight and visit the Dolphins Wednesday.]

The Dolphins today did some minor contract laundry with their restricted and exclusive rights players. The club tendered RT Lydon Murtha with a second-round tender. The club tendered defensive end Phillip Merling to an original round tender. Both have signed their tenders, costing the Dolphins a total of $3.1 million.

The club did not tender either running back Lex Hilliard or defensive lineman Ryan Baker.

Comments

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Glad We've discarded the malcontent known as Our #19.
Marshall should never have been a Dolphin. Overrated. Didn't do a single thing to help chump chad developed.Rattled his cage and ineffectual henne never recovered.I think this move says more about Manning and Wayne coming to Our franchise.Than a sign of rebuilding.Go Dolphins! Do what's best for Our team coach Philbin.

Alright, marshall faulk believes that the marshall trade is to make way for manning, wayne, and clark.

he has dropped more balls than any receiver in the league the past three years, almost always in critical situations. hopefully, this is part of some pre-cooked plan to bring manning here, but with ross & co. I have my doubts. but either way, good riddance.

Aren't Wayne and Clark past their prime?

Forget those guys, we have youth.

wayne at this point in his career is no more than a possession receiver. Still need a burner.

@Darryl Dunphy

Brandon Lloyd was released by Chicago. Picked up off waivers by Denver. Then traded to St. Louis for a 6th round.

Denver did not give anything to the Bears for Lloyd. We gave two second round picks to Denver for Marshall. And in return, gave him away for two 3rd round picks.

Denver got a 6th round pick without giving up nothing to get Lloyd. Dude played for league minimum ever since he left Washington.

I would think if Denver wasn't getting Peyton they would be making a play on Flynn right now. Seems Miami and the SeaJokes are the only ones interested.

Forget you Clyde. I'm hoping Marshall Faulk aint just talking.

Whats your problem Rick?

there's not a warm urine sample's worth of difference between flynn and moore. why waste the effort to get him. take a flyer on whedon in the middle rounds if he's there.

btw, freed from miami's incompetent dink and dunk offense, henne will turn out to be a productive nfl quarteback

Some of you want Peyton and now his old timer receivers. Screw that, those guys are past their prime. SOme of you have no concept that athletes age and decline LOL.

If Mr Ross thinks this 16 year season ticket holder is writing a check to watch Matt Flynn throw the curl to Devone Bess, he is nuts. Two playmakers on this team, Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall, and u dump Marshall?? And signing Eric Winston won't excite me either.

Got no problem Clyde. Just would like to watch our team the playoffs for a change.

We been rebuilding for ten years now.

If Marshall can't catch the ball im Miami what is he going to do in the sub-zero temperatures of Soldier Field come winter?
Getting two third round picks in exchange is a JOKE!!!!!!!!!

The more I think about it the more I have to conclude Flynn has to come here. Miami is the only team who hasn't had a pro-bowl QB in the last 16 years.

If they lose out on Flynn then this organization is done. Even though they are done WITH Flynn anyways.

OH YEAH JIM ROW...don't write in all caps I'm wrong about that 16 years thing either. Don't make yourself look foolish again.


How much will Mario Williams cost?

We got the value out of Marshall. He led the team in receiving for 2 years but big deal. Each year he led the team is worth a 2nd round pick. But we went nowhere so big whoop. We got to thirds at the end of the deal.
Marshall was not a trouble maker. Bouncing a ball off of an idiot that was out partying all night is not causing trouble. Having a wife who is a pain in the ass is not a reflection on Marshall as a football player. Good luck to Marshall. He did a second round players work for 2 years straight.
So we get another 3rd this year. That makes it a 1st, 2nd and 2 3rds and the rest. Not too bad.
We aren't getting Manning. What I think the FO is doing is setting up the defense. I think we sign or draft a top pass rusher.
I don't think that Ireland is quite done getting rid of peices that don't fit. Let's hope.

I dont know what Collage Ireland attended or if he skipped the day they were teaching economics....buy cheap and sell high... We don't even have manning and your getting rid of your best receiver... For 2 third round picks.... Third round...if they want to close the deal with Manning they better sign Wayne.... Come on Man...all I know is this franchise is more worried about getting super star owners than players...it's BS

Philbin and CO spent Mon night with Peyton and today BM is gone. Coincidence ? No way! BM won't take criticism from anyone not even a HOF QB. Sounds like a back room deal to me. If that doesn't work out how would he take criticism from a young Flynn or Tannehill. The BM trade wasn't a coincidence , this was a calculated decision.

Baylor.
Relax and let this play out.
Marshall was going to cost $27M plus over the next 3 years.
We can definitely replace in FA and draft for a lot less and not put up with the distraction.
We will get either Manning, Flynn or Tannehill and maybe more than one.
We also have Moore under contract at least for one more.
More cap space changes may come.
Just let it play out and trust Couch Joe. Breathe.

Well Put Tampa Fan For Life, Everyone is now crying beacause Marshall is goin. The whole time he was here these same "fans" kept ripping him. I agree get rdi of the cancer and save money that can be better used else where. I would rather have a team that competes evry year then have one "Pro Bowl" player who only looks good in a game when no one is really covering him....

RUN RICKY RUN

With you fishboy.
Spent 3 hours reading 11 pages of blog and just shake my head.
Marshall never played like a 1 and fans constantly complained and should have and now complain because we only got two 3s. Am amazed, personally, that we got two 3s.
Let's just watch what the org ( primarily Couch Joe ) does.
We have just begun.

This once proud franchise has hit rock bottom HARD....

This is how retarded our GM is...We give up 2 second round picks for a WR...He makes the Pro Bowl and we trade him for two 3rd round picks...And some people think this guy knows what he's doing...LOL!!!!!!!

So as it now stands our #1 and #2 WRs are really #3s and #4s...Fabulous...

The Dolphins should of kept Randy Mueller as a GM...He couldn't of made this team any worse even if he tried...

Question now is not whether or not Marshall was worth 2 2nd Rd picks, but was he worth $27 plus in cap space over the next 3 years in Coach Joe's system.
Your call.

Marshall wasn't a headach. Can you blame a guy putting up with tony soprano, chad henne, and jeff Ireland for two years and getting a little attitude. Please lol give the guy credit for being quiet. WORSE trade away in the history of sports. We are official laughing stock of the NFL.

Tampa Fin Fan...I agree with you totally. Let Coach Joe set up the team his way. The Patriots are great because they collect draft choices, build through the draft, and do it the right way. The last coaching staff just kept looking for the magic bullet. Until we see what they do, it is too early with this new staff to pass judgement. Nice to see some "sane" real dolphin fans. Been one since 1970.

Our FO is a pathetic JOKE!!! Now that Jackson, Garcon, and WAYNE are off the market, who do these genii see the QB throwing to -- be it Manning, Moore, Flynn, Tannehill or any other..IDIOTS -- and Ross made sure to keep Ireland as opposed to giving a premier HC the chance to bring in his own GM. At least they have 2 extra 3rd round picks to stock the practice squad.

FishBoy, I have been a sane, season ticket holder for 16 years. I'm sorry, but we could have kept Henne, Sparano and Marshall and been ahead of where we are now.

Right now it feels like the Wes Welker trade !!! It still hurts to see him do so good on New England !!!!

JackSparrow:

Based on what body of work do you want to go all in for Flynn? For that matter, anyone on this blog who wants Flynn, please explain and be prepared to back up any facts you throw out there! I like matt Moore better than Flynn. Way more starting experience with decent success, which is HUGE being that this kid has had ZERO (and I mean ZERO) continuity in his career with 3 teams now. He is an enthusiastic, smart QB and I think with some continuity he will be much better this year.

Carlos,
I'm sorry but the Welker trade was totally different in that the Pats are a DIVISION OPPONENT and we play them twice a year with the potential to play them in the AFC playoffs evry year, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB move by Camoron. If you move a star, DEFINITELY don't trade him to a division opponent!

Jeff Ireland should be fired! How does aguy this stupid have a job ?

Here we ago again-Ireland back to his stupidity. I surely hope I'm wrong! I surely hope this has something to do with reeling in Manning. If not, paid 2 second round picks for him and selling for 2 third round picks? Are you kidding me? Maybe a second and a third??? Anyway, I don't understand the tender on Phillip Merling. Come on theres got to be a better pass rusher out there in free agency. I sure hope they get Eric Winston at least. DAMNNNNNNNN!

Few things I gotta say

1. How do u trade a guy nicknamed from his peers "The Beast" who is always a young 27yr old.. This is a league filled with the ulitmate alpha males in the world and they call this one guy the BEAST!!

2. If you are bored go look back at the last ten years of the NFL draft and look at rds 3-4 and you will not see a name that was worth anything!!! Two 3rds = a back up center and guard.. Wow

3. How does Ireland stay employed? Guy Is a clown

expecially? - ya learn something new everyday ;-)

Build through he draft!

Thats two additional defensive or offensive lineman that we can now draft!

2 second round picks to get the guy and after a pro bowl we only get 2 third round picks for the guy. It is like giving someone 2 ten dolar bills for a five spot. But then again the way the way the Dolphins blow 2nd round picks they may be better off this way. Way to go Ireland!

Stay Tune Fin Nation ... Ireland will mess this up too. What is the game plan here?
I am planning to start a campaign ... 'Ireland Must Go"

IMG

I've been a fan for over 15 years now, and I can't say I'm happy about this trade, but I'm being patient. Listen, Ireland has been slung his share of insults ever since the Dez Bryant interview. But really, there are some good things he has done here. Our D is pretty solid, and that's thanks to taking a "risk" (since everyone says Flynn is) on Cam Wake. He brought us Dansby and Burnett (who looked great in 2nd half of season). Starks was a helluva sign. Vontae was a good pick, and most of our Oline is young and solid (Long, Pouncey, Incog, with Jerry and Murtha showing potential). D. Thomas may yet still develop, and we got Reggie for nothing last year on a reasonable contract and look what he's showing now. How bout finding Bess undrafted, or turning Hartline into a respectable WR? Yes, he's made mistakes, but all GM's do. We were 1-15 when he came here with ZERO talent on the roster. We're getting there. Our 11-5 season was an aberration of success. It was great coaching with smoke and mirrors. I wanted Philbin more than Fisher this offseason; let's see what a hungry coach from a successful organization can do. We're in the best position of all QB needy teams this year (outside Colts/Skins). If we miss on Manning (whom I don't want), we have a HC with direct experience with Flynn to know if he can be the man, and an OC who developed the draft's #3 QB (who was a WR for 2 years in college!). So, I trust that these 2 will adequately evaluate our options there and choose wisely. Honestly, who better in the league than these 2 right here, right now? I'm on board. Too happy Sparano is gone and that we have QB options to be upset over a WR being traded who is a cancer to QBs and is an incident away (which may have just happened), from a suspension.

no WR in this draft that command a double team like the beast. Reggie Bush will see the line stack and he will not have a good year this year. Well, everyone in the AFC East is happy they can circle the dolphins as a victory!!!This is SICKNING!!!

Would you be interested by exchanging links?

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