Five years later, the Seahawks still need a big No. 1 receiver, and Marshall could be available again.
In fact, Marshall is one of several players with ties to the Chicago Bears who have drawn previous interest from John Schneider and Pete Carroll and/or already have been linked to the Seahawks this offseason.
The Bears’ new leadership — general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox — have decisions to make on Marshall, whose $7.5 million salary becomes guaranteed March 12; Jared Allen, who is due an $11.5 million roster bonus March 20; and free-agent defensive tackle Stephen Paea. (John Clayton of 710 ESPN discussed Marshall and Allen on Friday.)
The Hawks also could be interested in former Chicago defensive tackle Henry Melton, whom the Dallas Cowboys will let become a free agent a year after he chose to sign with them over the Seahawks.
With offensive coordinator Adam Gase following Fox from Denver to Chicago, the Bears might keep Marshall, who was coached by Gase in Denver in 2009. Marshall told the Chicago Tribune he had no problem with Gase.
The Seahawks considered trading for Marshall in 2010, when Pete Carroll and John Schneider first arrived, after the wide receiver had burned bridges in Denver (though apparently not with Gase). The Miami Dolphins ended up getting him for two second-round picks, and then he wore out his welcome after just two years and was reunited with Jay Cutler in Chicago via another trade in 2012.
Marshall has had five 100-catch seasons with Cutler as his quarterback, but Alshon Jeffery displaced him as Chicago’s No. 1 receiver last season. If the Bears decide to part with Marshall, would the Seahawks still be interested in him at age 31? And would he be willing to play for $7 million a year?
Allen wasn’t last year, when he chose the Bears over the Seahawks on a four-year, $32 million deal.
The Bears are moving to a 3-4 defense under John Fox and Vic Fangio, opening questions about whether Allen (a 4-3 end) and Paea (a penetrating DT) fit.
Allen said last month that he is open to playing rush linebacker in Fangio’s scheme, but it remains to be seen whether the Bears want to pay the soon-to-be 33-year-old $12.5 million.
He had only 5.5 sacks in 15 games last season, so he certainly is not worth that. The Hawks wouldn’t pay it last year, so they certainly won’t this year. But if the Bears let him go and he is realistic about his price and wants to play, he might be an option for Seattle.
Paea, a second-round pick in 2011, had six sacks for Chicago last season and figures to draw great interest from plenty of teams seeking interior pass rushers. The Hawks probably would not be in the running for him. (Check out more from Hawk Blogger.)
However, they might be in the running for Melton, especially if he wants to win a Super Bowl. The 28-year-old (6-3, 290) is a similar player to Paea (6-1, 300). Melton had five sacks for Dallas last season and has 18 in his last three full seasons (he missed most of 2013 with a torn ACL).
The fact that he is a bit injury prone should keep his price down, which means the Hawks might have a shot at him if they still are interested.
In the end, the Hawks are not going to spend a lot of money on any of these players. But they have shown interest before and might again — for the right price.