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Brandon Marshall Trade: Miami Dolphins Exchange Talent For Cap Space

A mere five minutes after NFL free agency began in earnest, the Miami Dolphins completed the first blockbuster deal of the year, sending WR Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in exchange for two third round draft picks.

The Dolphins originally acquired Marshall for two second round draft picks, so this move has left many analysts scratching their heads. The Dolphins are trading a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver and receiving a middling return, but why? The answer might lie in the money.

Marshall does not come cheap, and the Dolphins had only $12 million in free cap space coming into today. Considering they have made it clear that they intend to pursue one the top free agent quarterbacks — not to mention that they are losing multiple players on their roster to free agency — the Dolphins needed to clear some more cap space in order to allow them to accomplish their off-season goals.

For more coverage of this trade and further moves by the Miami Dolphins, follow along at our NFL Free Agency stream. For all the latest NFL news and free agency developments, please visit the SB Nation NFL Hub Page.

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.