NFP: Bears should pass on Marshall

Matt Bowen
Yahoo! Sports

It's easy to understand why Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler(notes) might lobby for his team to find a way to bring in Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall(notes), but if I'm running that team, there's no way I allow it to happen.

We all know that when we talk about the Chicago Bears, the first question that comes to mind – and one that will be asked throughout training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill. – is what can we expect from a receiving corps that's headlined by kick-returner-turned-wide-receiver Devin Hester(notes)?

And does Cutler have enough weapons to throw to?

Well, that all depends on what you're looking for offensively, and probably more importantly, what offensive coordinator Ron Turner and his scheme needs when it comes to spending draft picks and cash on yet another offseason acquisition.

I've written before here at the NFP why I believe former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress(notes) would fit in Chicago, and I still believe it, depending on what plays out in the legal system and from a league disciplinary standpoint. But with Plax, there is no long-term deal. He's a one-season rental, unlike Marshall, who would want a new long-term contract.

In saying that, here's a list of reasons why Chicago is better off staying away from Marshall.

1. Money: The Bears will eventually have to sign Cutler to a new deal. He should be next in line at the bank when it comes to handing out new money in Chicago. With Marshall, the Bears could be looking at the same thing that has made teams shy away from Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin(notes) – money. He will want a new contract when he gets to town because, as we know, that's why he wants out in the first place.

2. Baggage: The issue here is that you roll the dice with Marshall. Sure, there are plenty of players in this league who have experienced off-the-field issues and are still playing at a very high level with a very big paycheck, but the league has already disciplined Marshall. If, for some reason, he winds up in trouble again, the Bears could lose him for an extended period due to a suspension. Not good for a guy under a long-term deal.

3. Trade Bait: What do the Bears have left to offer besides future draft picks? Chicago traditionally builds its football team through the NFL Draft. It's never a big player in the free agent market, and despite the major move the Bears pulled off this year for Cutler, I can't see them giving up another series of picks to bring a receiver into town.

4. Scheme: The Bears are the furthest thing from the spread offense that Josh McDaniels and the Broncos will run this fall. They are a run-first football team that will take calculated risks down the field in the vertical passing game. Marshall's talents won't be maximized in Turner's scheme because this football team will use its tight ends, will rely on play action and would still like running back Matt Forte(notes) to be the No. 1 weapon on offense. Cutler was brought in to make the throws that former QB Kyle Orton(notes) couldn't, not to change the system.

5. No Need: We might assume that the Bears need help at wide receiver, but this team and GM Jerry Angelo are confident that the addition of Cutler makes everyone better – including the young and unproven wide receiving corps. Hester will have had another offseason to develop, the team likes rookie Johnny Knox(notes), and former Oklahoma standout Juaquin Iglesias(notes) was drafted to add to the overall depth. We can talk all we want, but this team just might be ready to battle with what it has – and Cutler must lead the way.

Follow me on Twitter at MattBowen41

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