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Marshall trade was bad for Dolphins but wasn't wrong

I asked Joe Philbin if he (and former general manager Jeff Ireland) traded Brandon Marshall because of the erstwhile wide receiver's history for not getting along with young quarterbacks, specifically Chad Henne.

"Not necessarily," Philbin said today. "Again, that was a long time ago and it was we just felt like where we were as a program and organizationally, the opportunity came and that was the decision we came to."


Protecting their coming quarterback, protecting their organization and a severe mistrust of Marshall was the reason the Dolphins traded Marshall, ya'll.

In the spring of 2012 the Miami Dolphins planned to draft a young quarterback. They were well aware there would be growing pains with that young quarterback. And the team was wary about Marshall disrespecting the new kid the same way he had Henne on the sideline or in practices or during games.

Yes, the team was also worried Marshall would have a final nuclear meltdown to go with his lesser run-ins with police and his wife. Marshall, you see, was not in the same place then as now. He was a ticking time bomb then. Police would be called to his address on a semi-regular basis, I've been told.

At least seven times that went unreported in the media.

Marshall today is more mature. He says he got himself saved. He is in a situation playing with friend Jay Cutler where he respects Cutler and understands him and himself more. So he's obviously in a better place.

But even now, Marshall is sometimes Marshall.

He was asked today about those 2010-11 Dolphins.

"We were a quarterback away from having a team," Marshall said.

Still ripping Henne to this day.

Anyway, I predict the narrative this week will at some point be how terrible the Dolphins trade of Marshall was. And I have issues with that narrative. The idea to trade Marshall was a good one. I advocated it well before the Dolphins did it.

Indeed, I advocated not signing Marshall before the Dolphins signed him. I never thought it would happen. I didn't think giving up two second-round picks for him and paying him a big contract was a good investment.

So I didn't hate the trade to Chicago philosophically. I understand the Dolphins had to trade Brandon Marshall. It was the right thing to do.

Now, what they did after the trade ... with the picks they got in exchange?

Not good.

The Dolphins essentially  (I say essentially because there were other throw-ins used to get some pieces) traded Marshall for tight end Michael Egnew, cornerback Will Davis, tight end Will Davis and receiver B.J. Cunningham.

Cunningham was cut in his first training camp. Engew was cut in his third training camp after two subpar seasons as a third-round pick. Davis is a role player today. He served as a nickel corner the first four games of this season but has been demoted since. And tight end Dion Sims is merely functional as a blocking tight end but not necessarily a game-changer.

Not comparable for a two-time Pro Bowl player that is a game-changer, right?

No. It isn't.

But did the Dolphins have to make the trade, given the circumstances they found themselves at the time? Yes. Probably.

If the Dolphins had drafted T.Y. Hilton in that 2012 third round instead of Michael Egnew, no one would complain today.

Moral of the story? Draft better.