Another Brandon Marshall could be joining the Chicago Bears. Not the retired wide receiver who played for Chicago from 2012-2014, but the former Denver Broncos linebacker who spent seven seasons in the league, winning Super Bowl 50 as part of Denver’s defense. Marshall is out for the Bears on Monday, June 14, per NFL insider Adam Schefter.
Marshall was a fifth-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 (142nd overall), and he spent his rookie year with the Jags. Jacksonville released him in a surprise move when making roster cuts the following season, and he was picked up by Denver almost immediately. He initially signed on to the Broncos’ practice squad, but an injury to veteran linebacker Von Miller gave him an opening, and he ran with the opportunity.
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LB Brandon Marshall: A Refresher
Marshall played in just one game for the Broncos his second season, but he broke out in year three after another injury — this one to current Bears starter and former Bronco Danny Trevathan, who sustained a fractured tibia in 2014. Marshall played in 14 games in relief of Trevathan that season, starting 13. He wound up spending six years in Denver. In that time, he recorded 416 total tackles (305 solo), two interceptions, 21 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, 6.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss.
His best season was with the Broncos in 2017, when he started all 16 games. He led the team in tackles that year with 106 combined stops, and he also added a career-high three sacks, along with four passes defensed and a forced fumble. Denver declined his option in 2019, and he signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders in March of that year. Things didn’t work out with Jon Gruden and company, however, as he was let go during roster cuts in August before being picked up and quickly dropped by the team one last time in October.
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Where Would Marshall Fit in on Sean Desai’s Defense?
The Bears promoted safeties coach Sean Desai to defensive coordinator this offseason, and he added several new assistants, including a new inside linebackers coach in Bill McGovern, who has been an assistant with the Eagles and Giants. If Marshall impressed during his workout, he’ll likely have room to move up the depth chart, as it gets pretty bare behind Trevathan and standout Roquan Smith.
Marshall has experience playing on both the right and left sides, and that versatility could help him here. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Caleb Johnson and Austin Calitro are currently listed on the depth chart behind Trevathan, while Josh Woods and Calitro are listed behind Smith.
His ties to Trevathan make him an interesting depth option, but he hasn’t played in two seasons. If his workout went well, Chicago has an open roster spot after releasing tight end Darion Clark on June 13.