The Chicago Bears agreed Friday to trade veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The trade, which is purportedly contingent on whether Marshall passes a physical, will not be formally completed until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, when the 2015 league year begins.
The deal’s exact terms have yet to be confirmed. However, a source familiar with the trade said the Jets will send a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to the Bears in exchange for Marshall, NFL.com reports. Aside from the Jets, the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns had also expressed interest in a possible trade for Marshall, Pro Football Talk reports.
The trade unfolded hours after sources said the Bears were “exploring trade possibilities” for Marshall and would consider his release if no offer could be found, according to the Chicago Tribune. Marshall’s $7.5 million salary for the 2015 season becomes fully guaranteed next week. The 31 year old signed a four-year contract last offseason that runs through 2017.
Marshall caught 61 passes for 721 yards and eight touchdowns last year for the Bears, but he missed the final three games of the season due to injury. He recorded at least 100 catches, 1,200 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons with the franchise. In New York, Marshall will join Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley to form the Jets’ receiving corps. Percy Harvin also remains under contract, but it’s unclear if he remains a part of new Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan’s plans for the future.
Marshall’s tumultuous 2014 season with the Bears included purported locker room clashes with teammates and a highly publicized Twitter feud with a Detroit Lions fan, ESPN notes. The nine-year NFL veteran also drew criticism for his weekly participation on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” television show.