Good to visit this morning with “The Davids” – Haugh and Kaplan – on 87.7 FM’s “The Game” and look at the Brandon Marshall deal and other aspects of a huge Bears offseason.
Haugh hit on a key element of the Marshall extension in that it removes a potential major irritant from this season and probably the next couple. It was no secret that Marshall wanted an extension as early as during the 2013 season, and without one, every week could have become a sideshow if Marshall felt like he was playing for a contract but not getting enough passing attention to enhance his chances.
My thought is that the Marshall “plan” also has a major positive by leaving zero doubt that Marshall, along with quarterback Jay Cutler, are the true “new” faces of the franchise. Marshall has gone from about to be cut by the Miami Dolphins in 2012 to a leader, and removing his own contract from his mind only serves to free him up to focus on football and teammates, which he’s already been doing.
Kaplan raised the issue of the Bears’ Super Bowl “window,” and my feeling is that the organization believes nothing short of it being wide open right now. That’s why you lavish a huge contract on your incumbent quarterback and a 30-ish wide receiver, on top of a signing like Jared Allen and re-signings like Jeremiah Ratliff and Charles Tillman.
Vegas doesn’t see it that way, of course. The Bears’ “wins” line is eight, which concerned Kaplan a bit, but lines are intended to get betting money evenly on both sides and the Bears were 8-8 in two of the last three seasons.
But those eight-win seasons were the result of epic injuries – Cutler in 2011 and most of the defense in 2013. That can happen again, clearly. For that matter, so can an Aaron Rodgers injury in Green Bay that keeps the Packers’ win total to eight, as it did.