11:08am: The Bears are asking for a mid-round draft pick in exchange for Marshall, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports.
10:20am: The Bears are exploring their trade options with regard to veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Biggs hears from one source that the team is shopping Marshall and is intent on moving him, while another source says the club is simply fielding calls on the wideout. Either way, Chicago seems prepared to move on without the former fourth-round pick in the mix.
Marshall, who turns 31 later this month, signed a three-year contract extension with the Bears last May that locks him up through the 2017 season. However, with Marc Trestman, Phil Emery, and the old regime out of the picture in Chicago, it appears that new GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox are more inclined to go in a different direction.
The Bears will likely have to make a decision on Marshall within the next week, as his $7.5MM base salary for 2015 is due to become fully guaranteed next Thursday. That would lock in the wideout at a $9.575MM cap number for the coming year.
Among potential suitors for Marshall, the Colts would be one interesting possibility. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported last week that Indianapolis has internally discussed the possibility of adding a veteran wideout, and Cole identified Marshall as one of the team’s top choices. It’s not clear what Chicago’s asking price would be, but one source suggests to Biggs that the Bears could seek a mid-round pick, which could be palatable for the Colts — they certainly have the cap space necessary to absorb Marshall’s salary.
It also remains unclear if the Bears will be willing to release Marshall if they can’t find a satisfactory deal, or if the team is open to the possibility of bringing him back for another season. With his March 12 guarantee date looming, we should have an answer to that question fairly soon.