Just days after signing a three-year, $30 million deal, a humble and grateful Brandon Marshall held a press conference that turned into a love-fest. It felt like Thanksgiving in Lake Forest as Marshall thanked everyone short of the guy who sweeps the floor at Halas Hall. It was an opportunity for Marshall to reflect on his two seasons with the Bears and look forward to at least four more.
Marshall called the trade “bold” by Phil Emery, citing his checkered past. He had already been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had started to make changes in his life, but says the trade changed the course of his career.
“The transformation started in my life before I was traded here,” Marshall said. “But I think it was career-saving. I don’t think I’d be sitting in this position talking about an extension. I probably wouldn’t even be having the success that I was having on the field in that environment [in Miami].
“It wasn’t right for me. So I get back with my buddy Jay, and having his leadership and his brotherly love really helped. But it was also the people, the whole list of people. You guys know how great this organization is. For me, it’s a safe environment.”
What’s interesting is Marshall’s numbers remained steady throughout his career, even the years in Miami. At 30, he expects to take his game to another level.
Recently, during an offseason where he has felt healthy and spry, Marshall approached Cutler to reveal his latest optimism spike.
“I said, ‘This is going to be my breakout year,'” Marshall recalled. “Jay said, ‘Dude, you had seven of them.’ Jerry Rice had his breakout year in Year 11. So, I am in (season) nine. I think I can do it.”
For another $30 million, let’s hope he’s right. With Alshon Jeffery nipping at his heels and taking catches from him, it will take a special season to call this one a breakout season.
Marshall cited how lucky he was to have ended up in Chicago. On behalf of the city, let me say the feeling is quite mutual.