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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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Clue --- I am the one always criticizing Ireland, but let's let this one play out BEFORE you criticize. Maybe Miami is planning on getting Flynn or Manning and then using their first round pick to get Mike Wallace from the Pittsburgh Steelers? How is that for thinking outside the box?!

I am the first one to trash Ireland and will be the first one to do it again if there is not a plan behind this.

But let's let this play out...

Where are all those Ireland's fans hiding now?

how about a 1,2,3 now and move up in the draft people for a burner?

Hey, Brandon, thanks for playing and those drops in the endzone this year, saved your best for the Probowl a game that really counts! SEEEE YAAAAAAAAAAA!

LaConfora is saying that the Dolphins are looking to resign Soliai and the move to trade Marshall helps in that.

This is the worst move i have ever seen made by management. Marshall traded for peanuts. Who do they hope to find to replace his production. We have a team full of #3 wr's and no elite wr will be available in the draft in the 3rd round.

Prepare for a long season....Garcon is not BM's equal. Vjax is an older option who is equally as difficult to deal with. We are tanking the season to go all in on Barkley next year.

We just traded away a 1000 yards of offense. That is going to be tough to replace.

its almost impossible to ever have a shot to win as long as ireland is here. we are basically throwing in towel on this season. we will be horrible

Dusty, I think this is one of the stupidest moves in the history of the NFL. How do you get rid of your MOST POTENT OFFENSIVE WEAPON when you're a team with historically BAD offense for the last year.

If this was their thinking, why not trade Long for a GOOD RETURN instead of watching him walk next year when his contract is done? How does this make the team any better THIS year? Are we in another 4 year rebuilding?

This sucks! Kris, Craig M, I wouldn't suggest anyone praising the FO right about now. For the sake of keeping the peace. No one's going to make me believe this is somehow good until I see it for my own eyes Week 1, sorry.


The window closed.....officially in re-build mode now.

Actually, this might be a good thing. This sorta sounds like the "Packer way" Philbin was brought in for. Build you team through the draft for the long term.

Not looking forward to the pain next season though....going to be tough.

Posted by: wolfman13 | March 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM

Rebuilding...What the heck were the past 4 years for if not rebuilding. This franchise has been in rebuilding mode since 1999. If we were rebuilding we should've gotten rid of Ireland

I am thinking Vincent Jackson or Garcon to replace Marshall it makes the most sense. It also clears cap space.

From LaConfora NFL Network

"Hearing Dolphins making a push to retain NT Paul Soliai, who was franchised in 2011"

This is disgusting, ON THE SURFACE, but I will wait and see where this leads before I renounce my Dolfandom.

I've said it enough times by now. The biggest and best move this franchise can make is to FIRE IRELAND. And guess what it will cost us nothing.

WTF unless this clears the way for Manning + Wayne, trading Marshall is utterly stupid.
That's really great, now (once again!) they need a #1 receiver AND a receiver to play opposite the #1.
and for two 3rd rounders?!?! C'mon man! To me this indicates they were insistent on moving him, because that's the only way it makes sense for them to get such a terrible return.

Posted by: Ithaca Phin Fan | March 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM

It's utterly MORONIC to trade a 27 year old WR, in his prime, to bring in 2 players on their last legs & expect them to get you to the playoffs in what might be the toughest division in the NFL.

The ONLY way this makes ANY sense & is in the least bit palatable is if it means we're rebuilding & Philbin has his say.

If not, this franchise is done. 2 3rd rounders? For the love of christ!

Anyone know how much caproom this gives us now?

Ohio, I agree, and I agree he is our top play maker.

BUT, New coach, new philosophy, you can not start with a cancer and hope it does not spread. you need to cut if out if you can't control it.

I think we need to keep that in mind when evaluating this move.

Garcon, Reggie Wayne, and Peyton Manning to the Dolphins. WTF are we trying to make the Colts 2.0? Can we trade Jake Long already.

A old QB, and an old WR.

Ireland go kill ya self

Best thing for Miami , over rated WR locker room cancer , there's a reason why he keeps getting traded , he just ain't all there upstairs . This is not a directive from Manning people, get a grip .

We are making Moves... might not be all that bad to get rid of Marshall .. he is a cancer couldn't get us to the playoffs why not trade him get Flynn and maybe V. jackson in free agency and use them 3rd round picks to move up in the second round to get some o-line help or a D/E .. Most dolphin Fans are just glass is empty people ...I bet last year they were all over Marshall for not catchin' balls in the endzone ..now they are mad becuase he isnt on the team anymore ...GO FIGURE!

This team is a disaster!!
If Jeff Ireland doesn't rectify this, he will be fired by the start of the season!

this def tells us that after the meeting the fins knew manning wouldnt come here.

Miami has cleared 11.35 Million in cap space by making this move. THAT IS HUGE!

There are plenty of free agent WRs on the market this year and Miami can sign one to a huge signing bonus to make it so there isn't a huge cap hit.

KUDOS to Ireland for thinking outside of the box, admitting Marshall is NOT worth his cap figure, that we can get someone BETTER with a LOWER cap figure and get two additional draft picks which will give us more ammunition to move up or down in the draft.

THIS WAS AN EXCELLENT TRADE IF MIAMI HAS A PLAN IN PLACE. (I am guessing they do!)

So once again Miami has made a mistake! Shocker (sarcasm)

Let's see Pat White anyone?
Jake Grove?
Justin Smiley?
Philip Merling?
Brandon Marshall now?


vincent jackson is almost a tampa bay buc already

In the meantime, can we also cut Colombo "the turnstile" and sign Eric Winston??

Ah NEWS FLASH!!!

V-JACK is AVG at best!!!! FORGET HIM

How does a "rebuild mode" benefit Ireland, who's job is (or at least should be) tenuous? Doesn't add up unless there's more to come.

I'm 35 years old and been a dolphins fan all my life but I'm finished with these morons .... F them and their stupid a$%$ moves

I like the new start.. sorry guys I support my team, may not agree but I support it!! Big paul would be a welcome addition, and Wallace does not need to given a 1st rounder, get him!!

Everyone hammered Marshall, he has been a big waste in Miami, glad he is gone

With that said, I'm not sure what we are doing, but signing a WR is now an obvious need. Now, look at the Packers WR's, all Speed, so maybe Marshall wasn't a good fit for the new style of offense??

Let's see what comes next

I'm with you DC........i know I'm emotional cuz I just saw the news. But 2 third's doesn't cut it.

HOPEFULLY this move was made immediatly to get it out of the way for the NEXT move

If we are in rebuilding mode why not start by drafting a QB like RG3. Then he could have traded Marshall and others to compensate for the loss of picks.

If this indeed is a move toward rebuilding and we lost on RG I beg you not to support the personnel running this team to the ground. I will always be a fan but as such you have to open your eyes and recognize these people are destroying the Dolphins.

2 3rd rounders for a PRO BOWL RECEIVER! Tell me again how that's a plus.

UNLESS, and I'm giving Ireland an out here, what if they're planning to take Blackmon in the 1st, and maybe Weeden in the 2nd.

THAT would be the only reason I see this trade being positive (that or we get Manning and the gang). Other than that, can't see anything good about it.

i would take marshall over solia anyday of the week. Solia? are u kidding me. We are in a passing league/division. WHy pay big bucks for a guy who specializes in stopping the run when everyone is passing. smh

No Balls, I have no faith in Ireland, he hasn't done anything for any one of us to have trust in him. Guess what with all the drops

Marshall > Wayne
Marshall > Garcon
Marshall > 2 stinkin 3rd round picks

If you trade him, seriously we couldnt get anything better than that!

THE NEXT PIECE OF NEWS ON THE WIRE BETTER BE MANNING IS COMING TO MIAMI!!

IF HE ISN'T, THEN PHILBIN CONVINCED ROSS AND IRELAND THAT MATT FLYNN IS THE ANSWER AND HIS OFFENSE WILL BE BETTER!!

ONLY THING I CAN SEE!!

they are not rebuilding thats why

yeah marshall was very good but also a headache, not totally mad about the move. just mad that ireland is so dumb to only get 2 3rd round picks so we can package them and move up to a 2nd rd pick and take another thomas.

These guys are complete idiots. They are literally dismantling this team. We are looking at 2007 again. What a fantastic owner and GM we have!

By accepting two 3rd rounders after we had previously traded two 2nd rounders to get him is clearly admitting that we made a mistake. At what point does Jeff Ireland pay for these mistakes? I was not against trading Marshall, I just think we could have gotten more in return. I am pretty sure Belicheat would have gotten more.

Agree DC. I'm pretty much speechless..Im just waiting to see this fall apart..and Im not usually totally on the negative side of things..but this just smells bad.

tiger im guessing everyone in here besides maybe craig have now come to the reality of just how bad ireland is.

Clue, get a clue. Marshall does not fit in the Philbin offense. If you know anything about Philbin's scheme you'd have seen this coming. It's a genius move. The Phins are now $20 million under the cap (wake up Armando) and have flexibility to bring a receiver or receivers that fit the scheme, or a DE, or oh yeah there's that pesky QB issue. A pair of 3rd round picks is a decent haul for them to use to improve the team or to use in a trade to move up in the draft to pursue a player. I've been an Ireland hater all along, but I say that they (Ireland & Philbin) got this one right. Well done! Now, let's see what they do with the new flexibility and the picks...

I would love nothing more than to get in the ring with both Steven Ross and Jeff Ireland. F#*k em both. I'll take em on 2 on 1. I don't care. I would love nothing more than to unleash my hate and anger all over their pathetic faces. The ONLY way this could be perceived as a good move is if we land Manning and Wayne and/or Garçon. Or if we get Vincent Jackson (not happening). F#*k this organization.

This is not a cap space move!!

Please wake up!

DC -- not sure who the QB would be but maybe Blackmon is on the radar and we need a little ammo to facilitate that deal to move up and grab him.

and dont listen to the garbage on solia, hes long gone. doesnt want to be here to begin with. and i think miami could care less

tiger im guessing everyone in here besides maybe craig have now come to the reality of just how bad ireland is.

Posted by: dusty bottoms | March 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM

Never at a loss for insults are you.

This is not a cap space move!

BRANDON MARSHALL IS BAD FOR A YOUNG OB ...HERE COMES MATT FLYNN OR TANNEHILL ...NOW WE NEED A BIG WR ...

Well you step away and hello. I like the trade, do not like what we got in return. I assume we will replace him with one or two good options. Bess is ok, Hartline is ok, we need 2 studs.

Clearing cap space? OK but who's gonna catch the ball? Oh wait, a 3rd round acorn

Hey Clue. For the sake of accuracy could you please change your name to clueless?

What is the truth.? I have heard the Dolphins have between 10 and $15 million in cap space and today they trade Brandon Marshall and that clears up more Space. And now Mondo says that they still only have about 11 or $12 million which is it?

We either just did something incredibly stupid...
Or we're about to do something incredibly smart.

Holy cow. I guess I'll just keep my trap shut until all the smoke clears. This party just got the door kicked down, and the guy with the donkey just showed up. Disaster or unexpected awesomeness ensues?

I'll comment later when we know.

I think Philbin is going to want a speedier receiver with more consistent hands than Marshal provides. I also love Philpin sticking to his guns about the TEAM!!

talk to Manning trade Marshall, coincidence... i don't think so!!!!

welcome to full blown rebuilding mode

Dolphins needs OL QB DT OLB S CB TE and now WR, WHAT THE f@!##$%% is going on!!!!

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