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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.


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I'm scared Ohio. I don't have faith in Ireland like others do. I also can't put my faith in a first-year HC. He might know something, but he doesn't know how HARD it was to even get the offense to where it was last year (with Moore and Marshall). Marshall was the best receiver we had here since Duper and Clayton, and it showed. Now we're back to having a HUGE hole, not just for #1 WR, but #2 as well (not sure why they think Hartline's worth having). ON TOP of all the other holes we ALREADY had.

I was starting to TRY and be more optimistic, this just pushed me RIGHT BACK into "we suck" mode. Very scary stuff!

I just don't know about this one. They better have a trick or two up their sleeve. Might have got more value down the road.

I forgot, Paul Solia is an allpro!!

Give me a break!! Start the young players we have. Draft another NT.

ross should tell ireland to get lost and go offer manning a 3 year 75 mill contract

It's been 2 years he was worth 2 second rounder then he is 2 years older now ... in 3 more year he might only be worth a 6th round pick

Look I hope this move is to clear room for us to make another move. If not I just do not get the logic of getting two measly 3rd round picks for Marshall. This would be another sign of another late reaction by an indecisive GM.

We could have gotten far more before the tradeline last year and use the ammo to go after a true franchise QB.

Again I'm maybe overreacting because this is all speculation really but if we end up with nothing (since we now need a #1 WR) then screw this front office. Yes we are fans but we should not be treated like idiots. Us not voicing our sentiment is also detrimental to the team.

Clipboard, if this isn't a Space move then what is it? Does it mean they are in total rebuilding mode?

I like it though saves us on the cap gets rid of headaches, philbin wants picks, ross wants stars we got more picks (albeit it I am sure the offer was like a 2nd and 6th) so 2 3's it is. I am ok with the FO right now as Philbin is involved.

We couldnt even get 2 3rd round picks in the same year. Instead we get ONE in 2012 and another in 2013, We couldnt even get one second round pick out of the whole thing.

It's like Chicago threw put there worst over and Ireland bit on it.


DC, We have no idea what has happened behind closed doors. Philbin met with Marshall. Ross and Ireland are no making moves only they agree with. they need to have the coaches buy in, in my honest opinion.

there is more to this story, we just haven't had the time to hear it.

I agree I hope it is for Manning and Wayne, as some others have stated, I am just not sold on it yet.

We got two years out of Marshall...he is officially 'past his prime'.

This FA & draft are full of WR's and I trust that Philbin will insert one who fits his new scheme.

NO WORRIES folks...everyone is replaceable, including a diva like Marshall.

I hope it's for Manning but..... in all fairness Marshall dropped a lot, a lot of passes and could arguably be the reason we went 6-10. Lets be reasonable.

this franchise is insane

I now realize it is very possible that the next decade of Dolphins football will be worst than the last.

Where are all the Ireland supporters? LOL

Where are all the fanboys who thought this team was ready to win now? LOL

Ireland is rebuilding a team he just spent 4-5 years putting together LMAO

Hey Michael, just for you chump! Ireland and the Phins = COLLOSSAL FAILURE! No Qb will now be considered a monumental failure! LMAO

Tiger, you are correct in the way you feel. I have very little confidence in this general manager. This team has been run terribly for the last three or four years and it's showing in spades now. If this was merely a rebuilding move then wow this team is in a lot of trouble because that was terrible value for what they gave up.

I see the Fins trading up to get BLACKMON and throwing in the new 3rd rd pick to clinch the deal.

winston would be a huge upgrade, start there ireland. ireland needs cliff notes

this blows. Marshall had 1200 yards with matt moore and chad henne as qb.

I hope you people are wrong, and this is not a deal to get Manning...

Its like the Bears threw out there worst offer for Marshall and dummy Ireland took the bait!

Ireland is on the 20 year plan.

I just can't see how this is for Manning. I would think if you want to get Manning you keep your weapons.

To me this is more of a get rid of Marshall so he woudn't affect the confidence of a young new QB. I would either say from the draft or Flynn.

WOW!! Did not see that one coming..Holy Crap..to shoked to even write a comment.

Posted by: finfaneurope | March 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM

Agreed! Last thought on my mind. Never saw this coming. If its a cap move I can think of two or three players we could have gotten rid of. Reggie Bush for starters. Use the 8th pick to draft a RB.

Correction, trading Marshall clears up about 5M of cap room. So Miami has approximately 15M of cap room (after resigning some of their restricted free agents today)

Barkley is garbage

Marshalll did not tweet once in mannings favor, yet opened his yap at probowl. In the corporate world, that gfets you whacked quickly. remeber Belicheat dumped seymour for a 2nd, He is an all pro stud, seymour was toxic in NE. When your toxic your gone, has Phibin's prints all over it.

The Dolphins are now 24 million under the cap. Have long restructure his contract as well to get more money.


Swamy, they would have to get to the 5th pick at least to get Blackmon. You think that third would do it? I doubt it.

If this move is for Blackmon, they will have to jump the RAMS and the JAGS!!!

Blackmon/ Floyd/ Hill/ Streeter in the draft maybe?

Dolphins needs OL QB DT OLB S CB TE and now WR, WHAT THE f@!##$%% is going on!!!!
Posted by: SEPTUM | March 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM

Answer = Jeff Ireland


We are officially the worst team in the league. It's impossible to understand how these two idiots got control of this team. We are looking at another 2007 season. Almost exactly. No qb, a coach who doesn't know what he's doing and of course dumb and dumber running the team.

ireland gets rid of everyone he has an excuse to go 3-13, job security

Tim in Tampa, you can't cut Columbo, he's a free agent.

Remember all though years we needed a #1 WR, LOL now were back to square 1. WTH is a number 1 WR out there now.

Blackmon is a rookie, you cant expect him to come out and dominate in the NFL as a rookie.

Vincent jackson wants the same amount of money Marshall got.

SO WTH are we going to find a #1 WR? This makes no sense to me.

Wow Armando you are optimistic aren't you. Manning is NOT coming to the Barnum and Dolphins circus pal, period.

Also, sure this clears salary cap space and Marshall is a head case and cancer to the team. However, this shows that we have a bunch of clowns running this team.

We gave up two 2nd round picks for Marshall and only get back two 3rd rounders and he only plays two seasons here. Which means the trade was a BUST.

on another note I don't think Jay Cutler is very happy with this move...


Texted team source and asked, "What's going on with Marshall move?" Response: "Be patient. You'll see." So I guess we'll see.

>>>> Seems to me MIAMI HAS A PLAN! And it is likely a BIG plan! This isn't just a small move. This is part of a master plan.

I hate Ireland, but let's give this a chance. I still think this was a BRILLIANT move as long as we can replace Marshall this year through free agency!

Here is what I know. Two things can only come from this. Ireland will be a genius because he got Manning and or others. Or he is what we thought he was.

Also, don't forget this guy thinks he is some kind of draft guru. He might think he can turn two 3rd round picks into lemonade.

seymour went for a first rounder

Where are all the Ireland supporters? LOL

Where are all the fanboys who thought this team was ready to win now? LOL

Ireland is rebuilding a team he just spent 4-5 years putting together LMAO

Hey Michael, just for you chump! Ireland and the Phins = COLLOSSAL FAILURE! No Qb will now be considered a monumental failure! LMAO

Hey new coach new vision, I give them my support, leave the blog, root for the pats, who cares about you.


I was so sick of not having any good receivers prior to Marshall. I hope we either get somebody or somebody MAJORLY breaks out this year. It is so frusterating not having recievers in a passing league

2 3rds?? sounds like a fire sale to me. Someones desperate to save some cash!!! Hope it for players and not pockets

Who among you (morons) will continue to blame Chad Henne for the Fins' results the last few years?

1. Sparano
2. Marshall the childish head case. Quicker to laugh, quicker to cry, quicker to resort to violence.

We just doubled our CAP Space......please, don't spend it on Solai....

Manning or Flynn, then load up on OL and WR

YAY -- Winston will be meeting with the Dolphins. That was reported by Ben Volin PB Post.

In Philbin We Trust!

cyber its 2 years later, so no its not a bust. u dont buy a car and 2 years later sell it for the same amount

Great post on pft on this article, couldn't have said it better myself:

"WOW. As a Vikes fan…this is a bit alarming.

two 3rd rounders?! That’s it? Come on Miami! Have some respect for yourself."


Eric Winston will meet with Dolphins, source says. No exact date/time yet, but it's going to happen. No other visits scheduled for him yet.


I hope they don't got he Manning route but this surely smells like it.

How do you just trade away Marshall for two 3rd round picks??? I guess Ireland is confident that Bess or Hartline can be a Number 1. LMFAO!!!

Brandon Marshall is just like T Owens and Chad Ochocinco. Big Mouth and High Maintenance. Notice no one wants T. Owens and Ochocinco is on thin ice in NE. The ONLY team that may have wanted Marshall is the Bears because of Cutler. Good Move and Good Bye.

ill take manning,clark,wayne craig. but no thanksssssss on flynn

No balls, you are on drugs. I do admire your optimism though. I imagine if someone shot you, your response would be, "at least I wasn't stabbed!"

corrected dusty, some thought he was worth more. I apologize for that one. I have more faith in the FO now than in the past 4 years. There I said it, I also just pulled a large bottle of gin off my shelf and will bring it home to consume.

This deal has plan written all over it!

winston would be a great move

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