In another move to ensure last year's high-powered offensive attack remains in high gear for the foreseeable future, the Bears rewarded wide receiver Brandon Marshall with a three-year, $30 million contract extension.
Marshall, who signed the contract on the daytime talk show "The View," pledged $1 million to benefit the mental health community. He will make $9.3 million this season in the final year of his previous contract. Of the $30 million in new money, $23 million is guaranteed and will keep him under contract to the Bears through 2017.
Marshall turned 30 years old in March, but he has shown no signs of a falloff from the production that has seen him voted to the Pro Bowl five times, including each of the previous three seasons. In his two seasons with the Bears, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall has 218 receptions for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns. He holds the franchise records for single-season receptions (118) and yards (1,508), both of which were achieved in 2012.
Marshall is the only player in franchise history with multiple 100-reception seasons and the only one with back-to-back seasons with double-digit touchdown receptions. He is one of just three players in franchise history with 1,000-yard receiving yards in back-to-back seasons, joining Curtis Conway (1995-96) and Marty Booker (2001-02).
After experiencing off-the-field problems in Denver and Miami, his previous two NFL stops, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, an affliction from which he says he no longer suffers. But Marshall has been an outspoken and high-profile spokesman for mental health.
Marshall and his wife, Michi, have created the Brandon Marshall Foundation, whose mission is "to end the stigma attached to mental illness, advocate for unprecedented awareness, connect those suffering to resources, and paint the world lime green."
The Bears acquired Marshall from the Miami Dolphins after the 2011 season for a pair of third-round draft choices, perhaps the most productive trade in Bears history.
Since he was drafted by the Broncos in the fourth-round out of Central Florida in 2006, Marshall is third in the league with 712 receptions. His 9,050 receiving yards are fifth best, and he is tied for sixth with 57 TD catches. He is the only player in the NFL with more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last seven seasons (2007-13) and the only player with 80 or more receptions in each of the previous seven seasons.
Last off-season and again this year, Marshall has invited teammates to his home in Florida to train. Fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery credits Marshall's influence with helping him achieve a breakout season last year. In his second NFL season, Jeffery caught 89 passes for 1,421 yards and 7 touchdowns and joined Marshall in the Pro Bowl.
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