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Brandon Marshall The Latest High-Profile Trade; WR Sent To Jets
As's Darin Gantt framed it: "The Bears made good on their promise to 'explore trade options' for Brandon Marshall, by trading him. ..." According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, they’ve dealt the veteran wideout, still considered to be a capable if no longer-high end fantasy football prospect, to the New York Jets.

Marshall signed a four-year contract with the Bears last May, but apparently what's Kevin Patra characterized as his "his outspoken attitude" combined with questions about his commitment to football and his price tag all combined to make him expendable in Chicago, who get a fifth-round pick in return for him.

As Patra suggested, Marshall's talent is undeniable; it's been his off-field issues that have worn organizations thin.

According to NFL Media research, Marshall will become just the fourth player to be traded three times since 1995, joining Randy Moss, Glyn Milburn and Sage Rosenfels.

The Colts and Browns had also shown interest, but the Jets make sense on a number of levels.

First, they need players. And his going to New York to tape a weekly television appearance -- an apparent sticking point with the incoming coaching staff in Chicago -- won’t be as much of an issue when he’s already there.

In addition, as Schefter pointed out, the last time Jets had a 1,000-yard wideout was Jerricho Cotchery in 2007.

The Bears, meanwhile, were intent on getting out from under the $7.5 million guaranteed if he’d have been on the roster March 12, but at that salary and $7.9 million and $8.3 million for the following two years, he’s reasonable compared to what the top wideouts will get in free agency.

The Bears will now enter the 2015 season with highly touted but unproven Marquess Wilson opposite Alshon Jeffery. Lacking any depth behind that will be a point the team will need to address this offseason.

For the Jets, it gives them an established playmaker to put alongside Eric Decker, giving Geno Smith (or another as yet unknown QB) a better chance to succeed.

As Gantt noted, Marshall's numbers were down last year with injuries and an ineffective Jay Cutler, but he had 218 catches for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns the two previous years.

For the Jets, the trade offers fantasy owners the intrigue of pairing Marshall with Eric Decker. As Patra suggests, the duo complements each other nicely and would allow Decker to move back to his No. 1B/2 role. The next question is what Marshall's arrival means for Percy Harvin.

The instant analysis says this all but guarantees Harvin's departure.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, that's not necessarily the case.

"My understanding is (the acquisition of Marshall) does not directly affect Percy Harvin," Rapoport reported Friday.

As Rapoport points out, Harvin is a unique hybrid receiver/running back, operating best in space or as a gadget player. He's not superfluous simply because the Jets also have Marshall and Decker at wide receiver.

But Harvin isn't a lock to remain, either. Because. ... Money.

The Jets are not going to pay Harvin's scheduled $10.5 million salary and so far, Harvin has not been amenable to a pay cut.

March 19 looms as a deadline. If Harvin is still on the roster at that date, the Jets will owe the Seahawks a fourth-round draft pick as opposed to a sixth-rounder if Harvin is released.

Remember, the Jets signed slot receiver Jeremy Kerley to a four-year, $16 million contract last October.

Given the circumstances, Harvin has little incentive to stay with the Jets on a lesser salary -- especially after Boston Globe beat man Chris Gasper said last week that the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots have "always liked" Harvin, and that the Pats traded out of the No. 23 pick in the 2009 draft because Harvin was nabbed by the Vikings at No. 22.

That doesn't mean the Patriots would be chasing Harvin if he moves on, but the notion a more successful franchise might have an interest has to be encouraging news for a player thinking about working for less money going forward.