Fans of the Miami Dolphins are angry, and rightfully so.
The club finished 6-10 last season and has made the playoffs just once in the past 11 years.
In Miami, mentioning the Dolphins will send certain folks into a bona fide rage.
This morning, a headline in the Miami Herald read "Dear Miami Dolphins, we can't stand it anymore!"
It's safe to say, general manager Jeff Ireland should hire bodyguards if he plans on going out in public.
Owner Stephen Ross, in response to a fan base that is inching ever closer to revolt, chose to call up a season ticket holder, Jason Lawrence, to explain the club's thought process this offseason.
Apparently, Ross threw out every excuse in the book in an effort to placate his fans, even going so far as to throw Bears GM Phil Emery under the bus.
Brandon Marshall & Phil Emery
David Banks/US Presswire
"[Ross] said they had been shopping [Marshall] for a couple weeks," Lawrence told the Sun-Sentinel. "Nobody would return their phone calls about getting him. If Chicago didn't take [Marshall] they would have ended up cutting him very shortly after that, and got nothing."
When the Marshall trade was made, everyone in and around football agreed that two third round picks in exchange for one of the top receivers in the game was a steal. Now, many in Chicago are wondering if Emery moved to quick and if the team could have had Marshall for nothing.
That, my friends, is nonsense.
Ross did nothing more than save face by telling a season ticket holder what he wanted to hear.
Marshall has off-field issues that have been well documented. Shortly after the trade was announced, news of Marshall allegedly punching a woman outside a New York City nightclub was made public. Obviously, he's still wrestling with his demons.
But Marshall has never allowed his personal troubles to affect his play on the field. The 6-4, 230-pound receiver has hauled in at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards the past five seasons, one of only two receivers in the NFL to do so during that span – and he's done it with a cadre of mediocre quarterbacks slinging him the ball.
Marshall had problems with Dolphins ownership and management. He had obviously run his course in Miami, but no team in the league, no matter how disenfranchised they are with the player, would flat out drop a receiver of Marshall's caliber.
In fact, the mere insinuation that Marshall would have been dropped makes the team look even more idiotic.
Yet according to Ross, Emery was a fool for wasting two third round picks on Marshall. Here's an owner neck deep in a franchise that is going nowhere; a club that could not entice anyone besides David Garrard, who spent last season out of football, to come be the team's quarterback.
At this point, it appears Ross will say just about anything to take some of the heat off his fledgling organization. Saying that Marshall would have been dropped is not only insulting to the intelligence of Miami fans, and football fans in general, but even more so to Emery.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Emery called Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland after hearing Ross' comments.
But let's assume Miami did drop one of the best pass catchers in the league. Chicago would have then had to outbid the rest of the league – and no matter what Ross wants his fans to believe, there would have been a huge market for Marshall – and likely paid him more than what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paid recent free-agent acquisition Vincent Jackson – more than $11 million per season.
The Bears likely would have had to pay Marshall $2 million-$3 million more per year, including a healthy signing bonus. Subsequently, the club would not have had money left over to sign a player like running back Michael Bush, the best ball carrier on the open market.
Emery gave up the team's extra third rounder in 2012, acquired in the Greg Olsen trade last season, and next year's third rounder for a player that will likely take Chicago's passing attack to the next level.
Don't bother listening to the face-saving comments of an owner that is under almost as much pressure as President Obama.
Emery made the right move, plain and simple.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.