Brandon Marshall, recently cut by the New York Jets, has found a new home. His daily commute to work won’t be much different, as he agreed to terms with the New York Giants Wednesday morning. According the multiple sources, it’s a two year deal worth $12 million. It will be interesting to see how much guaranteed money he gets as a soon-to-be 33 year old wide receiver coming off a down year.
Marshall’s time with the Jets was filled with extreme highs and cringe-worthy lows. He rewrote the Jets’ record book in 2015 (109 receptions, 1,502 yards, 14 touchdowns) but followed it with one of his worst statistical seasons of his career in 2016 (59 receptions, 788 yards, 3 touchdowns). He was not the same receiver in 2016 without his partner in crime, Eric Decker, who missed most of the seasons due to a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder that required surgery.
Despite these lows, I think most Jets fans will remember Marshall fondly. Yes, he can rub people the wrong way sometimes, just ask Sheldon Richardson, but his heart is always in the right place. The guy wants to win badly, and you cannot question his competitiveness. In his 11-year career he’s never been to the playoffs and he deserves to go somewhere he has a legitimate shot at playing meaningful football in January. His 167 career games played without a playoff appearance is the longest active streak in the league.
On paper, it looks like a good signing for the Giants. Which secondary wants to cover Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard? Beckham is borderline uncoverable in 1-on-1 situations, Shepard is on his way to becoming one of the most dynamic slot receivers in the league, and Marshall, even at this stage in his career, may still be the best red zone jump ball receiver in the league. Add a tight end through the draft (O.J. Howard anyone?) and the Giants could have one of the most potent air attacks in the league in 2017.
As previously mentioned, Marshall had the best year of his career with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him and Eric Decker lining up on the opposite side of the field under a defensive-minded coach. He now gets an upgrade in all three positions with a future Hall of Famer in Eli Manning, a superstar in Odell Beckham, and Ben McAdoo.
As mentioned before, Marshall comes with some baggage. He’s caused problems with every team he’s played on. Add in the spurts of immaturity Beckham has shown early in his career and there could be issues in that wide receiver room. The real test will be the first stretch of games either of them goes without getting the amount of touches they desire. But, as we all know, winning cures everything in sports.
The Giants made some noise last year, but failed to capitalize in the playoffs, falling to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round. All Marshall wants is to play in the postseason and the Giants provide him with a tremendous opportunity to do that.
I’ll leave the Giants with two pieces of advice to make this arrangement work.
Keep winning games.
Feed The Machine.