With the New York Jets scheduled to face off against the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve, we always hear some rumors floating around about players potentially jumping ship for next season. The latest recipient of these rumors is none other than franchise receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall is still one of the most consistent receivers in the National Football League in his 11th year in the league. The 32-year-old wide out has 12,033 receiving yards and 82 touchdowns in his career, but has never been a part of a playoff run, which is obviously at the top of one's priority list as a career starts to wind down. In fact, Marshall has never been to the playoffs, which is the longest drought in a NFL player's career.
Could he join the Patriots, as the Jets look to be in a rebuild phase? Possibly, but it isn't likely.
When asked about the possibility of joining the Patriots if he is indeed cut by the Jets next season, Marshall said it was "intriguing."
He offered a deeper explanation today:
“There’s two things that make it [joining New England] really difficult. One, I love it here. And two, I don’t want to be a rental player for anyone. So, I don’t want to jump ship and take the easy route and go somewhere where I’m just a rental cop for a year or two and I’m not a core guy. I want to do it being a big part of the puzzle.”
To be fair, Marshall has a legitimate point. He is still one of the best receivers in the NFL and may not be utilized in a place like New England because of the plethora of options they have on offense as he would in a place like Seattle, who don't have many explosive options offensively.
However, if Marshall wants to be part of a winning franchise for the first time in his hall of fame career, he may need to suck up his pride and take a reduced role somewhere else.
The Patriots will have more than enough money to bring Marshall on if he chooses to sign with the Patriots next season, or in 2018 if he stays with the Jets. He may not get as much money as his $7.5 million salary with the Jets next season, but it will be interesting to see if he would take a pay cut if it meant signing with a Super Bowl contender. Furthermore, the addition of Marshall would give the Patriots one of the deepest wide receiving cores in the NFL. Marshall can line up out wide or in the slot, and could be a valuable mentor to guys like Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd if he is still here.
I understand Marshall's off-the-field issues, but if he is winning 12 or 13 games in a Patriots uniform, I don't think you will have to worry much about that. As we have seen with Martellus Bennett, who was one of the most outspoken players in the NFL, winning seems to shut guys up and make the game actually fun again.
Whether it is with New England or elsewhere, I hope Brandon Marshall lands in a good place.