A little over two and a half years ago the Dolphins were once again in the mist of a regime change. Fist Pump Tony had been sent packing in favor the the former Packers assistant Joe Philbin. Somewhere along the line during that time the powers that be decided to trade the Dolphins best offensive weapon at the time, Brandon Marshall. The rumor at the time was the reasoning behind the trade was that new head man Philbin was not a fan of Marshall's attitude or his past issues. There were also rumors that the trade was to clear space to sign wide out Reggie Wayne in an effort to lure free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. In the end Wayne re-upped with the Colts and Manning joined the Broncos where he has since continued his assault on the NFL record books.
No matter the reason for Marshall being traded, be it to please the new head coach or in a failed attempt to lure Manning to a warmer climate, the Dolphins received two draft picks (a 2012 3rd rounder and a 2013 3rd rounder) and the Bears received a pro-bowl wide-out with a troubled past. The Bears made perfect sense for Marshall who would then be reunited with his former quarterback Jay Cutler who he had been happy playing with back in Denver. While still playing for the Dolphins Marshall had on many occasions taken verbal swipes at quarterback Chad Henne in the media, including following the 2012 Pro Bowl where he was named MVP after catching 6 passes for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns. Brandon of course is still to this day taking shots at Henne.
All the Bears got for their trouble and their two third rounders that they sent Miami is a wide out that has since seemingly turned his life around and once again flourished after arriving in the windy city. In Marshall's previous two season's before arriving in Miami, while still playing for the Broncos, he averaged 102.5 receptions per season for an average of 1,192.5 yards and 8 touchdowns. In Miami during two seasons his numbers slid to an average of 83.5 receptions per season for an average of 1,114 yards and only 4.5 touchdowns. In his first two seasons with the Bears he has averaged 109 receptions per season for an average of 1,401.5 yards per with 11.5 touchdowns. Clearly the Bears are pleased with the trade given the production they have received in return by re-paring Marshall with his little buddy Cutler.
Miami of course still had two third rounder which by most standards are considered high draft picks, aka picks that you should turn in to either starters or at least long term contributors to your team. In the 2012 draft then Miami general manager traded the first of the two third rounders to the San Diego Chargers for their third and sixth that year. The Chargers in turn turned that pick in to safety Brandon Taylor out of LSU who had a 2 year lack luster career in San Diego. The Dolphins spent the third rounder on tight end Michale Egnew and the sixth rounder on wideout B.J. Cunningham. Egnew who was seen as one of the best TE prospects in that draft is now with his third team in as many years having done little in the NFL. The same holds true for Cunningham who now holds down a spot on the Eagle practice squad.
With the 2013 third rounder Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins selected cornerback Will Davis. Davis of course in his second year is the second stringer behind free agent signing Cortland Finnegan. Most Dolphins fans expect Davis to have a long term role with the team as he continues to develop but at this point the trade of Marshall to the Bears has netted the Dolphins a back up corner. It's these sorts of decisions that have Jeff Ireland out a job, well that along with his lovely personality. If it's in fact true that Joe Philbin was the reason for his being traded then might it be the sort of decision that someday costs him his position as well? While that part of the story is still uncertain what is certain is the fact that the Bears clearly won this trade in spades.