Chicago Bears re-sign WR Brandon Marshall

This extension will give Marshall 30 million in new money over 3 years, in addition to the 9.3 million he’s owed this season. A total of 23 million is guaranteed, including this year’s salary, which was already essentially guaranteed because the Bears weren’t going to cut him. This deal essentially adds 13.7 million in new guaranteed money, including a signing bonus and Marshall’s 2015 salary. It’s basically a 2-year, 23 million dollar deal fully guaranteed with options for 2016 and 2017 at a combined salary of 17 million.

Marshall has had some issues with teammates and off-the-field, but on the field, he’s been as steady as they come, with 7 straight 1000 yard seasons in which he’s missed a combined 4 games. As a result, he’s already 55th all-time in receiving yards with 9050. Among active receivers 30 or younger, only Calvin Johnson has more and if he keeps this up, he has an outside shot at the Hall of Fame.

Last season, he was actually Pro Football Focus’ #1 ranked wide receiver by a large margin. That was mostly because of his absurd run blocking grade and that’s obviously not his primary job, but he was still Pro Football Focus’ 5th ranked pass catching receiver and the fact that he can dominant on the outside on running downs is a nice added bonus. A 10 million dollar average salary would put him 7th among NFL wide receiver in average salary and he’s probably a top-5 wide receiver so the money, while it’s a lot, is about right for him.

One issue is his age, as he goes into his age 30 season, but this contract only takes him through his age 33 season. He should be on the decline by that point, but the steep decline for wide receivers doesn’t really come until age 34-35 and, given his talent and how few problems he’s had with injuries in his career, it would shock me at all if Marshall is still playing well come his age 32 or age 33 season. Even if he isn’t, the guaranteed money only goes through his age 31 season and he should have at least 2 more seasons at near his peak production left in him. This deal isn’t a tremendous value, but it’s an appropriate value for a team whose strength has quickly become their passing game.

Grade: A-




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