Could Bears have had Brandon Marshall for nothing?

Could the Chicago Bears have had Brandon Marshall for nothing?

That’s what it sounds like after Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called a man who has held season tickets to the club for more than two decades.

Ross placed a call to disgruntled fan Jason Lawrence and Izzy Gould of the Sun-Sentinel reports the owner said the Dolphins were close to releasing Marshall, a 27-year-old with three Pro Bowl selections, before the Bears forked over two third-round draft picks.

“(Ross) said they had been shopping (Marshall) for a couple weeks,” Lawrence told the Sun-Sentinel. “Nobody would return their phone calls about getting him. If Chicago didn't take (Marshall) … they would have ended up cutting him very shortly after that, and got nothing.”

The Dolphins can’t just replace Marshall with two third-round draft picks, but the point Ross makes is the club was desperate to move on from the player. It makes one wonder why the Bears rushed to make the deal at the outset of the league year when free agency opened. The trade came just two days after Marshall was accused of punching a 24-year-old woman in the face outside a New York nightclub.

Marshall has said he is confident nothing will come of the incident, and that he will not be suspended by the NFL. Bears general manager Phil Emery said the club acted swiftly to move for Marshall because of the constant-changing landscape at the outset of free agency. But maybe with a little patience the Bears could have had Marshall and kept the draft picks.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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