The Indianapolis Colts are expected to be in the market for a veteran wide receiver this offseason. They have plenty of young talent in T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Duron Carter, so what they need now is a veteran who can step in and play immediately this year. Regardless of if Reggie Wayne returns or not, this is a need that the team has.
Last week, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported that the Colts were looking into a number of veteran receivers, and one of the names that Cole mentioned could really become available. Cole mentioned that the Colts were looking into the possibility of getting Bears receiver Brandon Marshall in a trade, and a report today from the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs says that the Bears are indeed exploring trade options for the receiver.
Biggs reports that the Bears are seeking to trade the wide receiver, and he notes that, while it's unknown exactly what the Bears are looking for in return, "it's almost certainly less than the two third-round draft picks they sent to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for him in March 2012." He even said that one source mentioned the possibility of the Bears shipping Marshall somewhere in exchange for a mid-round pick.
Obviously, this is news that should catch the attention of Colts fans. The team was linked to Marshall a week ago in Jason Cole's report, and now according to Brad Biggs the receiver really is available in a trade. It would make sense for the Colts to inquire of what Chicago's asking price is for the receiver.
Marshall will turn 31-years old this month, but he's still a very good wide receiver. In his nine-year career (with both the Broncos and Bears), he has caught 773 passes for 9,771 yards and 65 touchdowns, averaging 12.6 yards per reception. He has caught over 100 passes in five different seasons and more than 1,000 yards in seven different seasons, and in three different years he has recorded double-digit touchdown catches. He has been named to five Pro bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2012.
By trading for Marshall, a team would also take on his current contract, which was signed last offseason. In 2015, Marshall is due to have a $9.575 cap hit, with the cap number slightly increasing in 2016 and 2017 before becoming a free agent in 2018 (according to Spotrac).
He has had some attitude problems and concerns in both Denver and Chicago, and last year things got particularly bad for Marshall in Chicago in what was a disastrous year all around for the Bears. The Colts have strong leadership in the locker room and would therefore be better equipped to handle it than most teams, but it is still definitely something that the team must keep in mind if they do intend to pursue the wide receiver.
Ultimately, this is a move that I absolutely think the Colts should look into. If Marshall truly could be had for a mid-round pick or something similar, the Colts would be wise to do that and bring in Brandon Marshall as the number two receiver alongside T.Y. Hilton. Coupled with Andrew Luck at quarterback (rather than Jay Cutler), the passing offense could become much more dangerous than it already is. So it sounds like Marshall could be available in a trade, and that's something that I definitely think the Colts should explore.