Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – Wide receiver Brandon Marshall called his trade to the Chicago Bears “life-saving and career-saving”, saying it helped him overcome his personal struggles.
“I don’t think I’d be sitting in this position talking about an extension if not for the trade to Chicago,” said Marshall, who recently signed a three-year contract extension with $23 million guaranteed.
“I probably wouldn’t even be having the success that I was having on the field in that environment [in Miami]. It wasn’t right for me,” he added.
Marshall joined the Bears after four seasons in Denver (2006-09) and two in Miami (2010-11) with a past steeped in volatility on and off the field.
Marshall disclosed in 2011 that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Since then, he has been an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.
Marshall and the Bears started discussing the new contract in March, but the receiver admitted he wanted a new deal before the 2013 season.
At the time, general manager Phil Emery told Marshall there was a game plan and that he was a part of it but the club couldn’t consummate the deal immediately.
“I wanted a contract last year, and he told me, ‘Brandon, we couldn’t do it,’” Marshall said.
Despite that news, Marshall kept quiet and played, producing 100 receptions to become the first player in franchise history to produce back-to-back 100-catch seasons.
Marshall said the 2013 season marked the first time in his career “that I wasn’t selfish” despite being overshadowed by Alshon Jeffery, who led the team in receiving yards (1,421).
Coming off a 2013 season in which the Bears set several franchise records on offense, Marshall expects even more in 2014.
“I think we have a special group. We work hard. Their approach to practice to their approach to the film room, it’s amazing, and I think if we continue to do that, we’ll continue to grow,” said Marshall.