The move was considered to be a big risk with potentially a big reward. With Marshall joining forces with quarterback Jay Cutler once again, the reunion of the former Denver Broncos may result in one of the most dynamic duos in the NFL at their positions.
Fortunately, the gamble paid off with Marshall posting career-highs across the board in his first season with the Bears. Chicago still missed the playoffs after a 10-6 season, but the future may be bright moving forward with Marshall excited about the hiring of new head coach Marc Trestman and the team potentially becoming a force offensively moving forward.
Although the team may continue to improve with Marshall becoming the number one option in the passing game, the Bears lost an important player this week following the release of wideout Johnny Knox.
The Bears decided to part ways with Knox once his rookie contract expired and seemingly no hope that the 26-year-old would be able to return to the field in the NFL according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:
The Chicago Bears terminated Knox’s contract Tuesday, ending his four-year run with the team. Knox has not stepped on the field since having surgery for a serious back injury in December 2011. It’s unclear when or if he’ll play football again.
Knox’s rookie contract expired after 2012, but the Bearshad the option to retain Knox since he didn’t take a snap last year. They chose to give him his freedom.
During four years under contract with the Bears, Knox caught 133 passes for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns in 45 games.
Knox didn’t play a single game in 2012 while continuing to recover from back surgery. The recovery process has taken much longer than anticipated for Knox and therefore has jeopardized his career in the NFL. It remains to be seen whether or not Knox will ever be able to play another down in the league with his back problems potentially enough to force retirement.