Last week, the New York Jets made the surprising decision to part ways with veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall after two full seasons. This immediately put him at the top of the list of available talent at his position for the free agency period that is set to begin on Thursday afternoon. However, it appears that he may have already found the next stop in his NFL career before officially hitting the open market.
According to ESPN, Brandon Marshall has reportedly inked a two-year, $12 million deal with the New York Giants on Wednesday. In fact, the star wideout tweeted out a photo of the signed contract with his new team and has spoken to the media about it.
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshall) March 8, 2017
“No, they definitely didn’t offer me the most money,” Marshall said of the Giants on a conference call Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
“It probably was the least money. It was all about championships. To get straight to the point it was all about a championship. They presented the best opportunity to be in a championship organization.”
Brandon Marshall is coming off a 2016 season where he experienced a significant drop in production hauling in just 59 catches for 788 receiving yards with three touchdowns while playing in 15 games. The noticeable dip could be attributed to the lack of consistent play from the quarterback position with Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling mightily throwing more interceptions (17) than touchdown passes (12) that pushed him and out of the lineup throughout the season.
Meanwhile, backup Bryce Petty didn’t prove to be much better of an option throwing just three touchdowns to seven interceptions in four starts in six games played. On top of that, his season was abruptly ended after he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in Week 16 against the New England Patriots. There was also the lack of sufficient help in the receiving corp with Eric Decker missing the bulk of the year due to injury.
That said, Brandon Marshall is just two years removed from arguably his best individual campaign that saw him set the Jets’ single-season records for receptions (109) and receiving yards (1,502). He was also tied for the league lead with a career-high 14 receiving touchdowns. Along with that, it marked the eighth time that he had more than 1,000 receiving yards and the sixth time that he recorded 100-plus catches.
The addition of the six-time Pro Bowler to New York helps further solidify what could now be the most talented group of receivers in the league that Eli Manning now has his disposal. Brandon Marshall should more than fill the void left by the Victor Cruz, who was cut by the team earlier this offseason.
The Giants are set to pair Marshall alongside fellow star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who had at least 90 catches and 1,300 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons in the league. They also have a promising second-year receiver in Sterling Sheppard, who put together a respectable rookie campaign recording 65 receptions for 683 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Brandon Marshall’s presence gives the Giants a dynamic duo in the passing game that could greatly benefit Beckham’s impact as they now possess two receivers that can steadily command double coverages. The 32-year-old is still an above-average wide receiver that has the resume to back it up as he has finished with at least 50 receptions in each of the last 10 seasons. He is also the only player in league history to record 1,000 receiving yard seasons with four different teams.
With one of the better defenses in the NFL behind them, New York certainly has the potential to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season. The offense has just one glaring hole at running back, but that could be quickly resolved with the possibility of adding former All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson in free agency. Peterson has already mentioned the Giants as being a realistic landing spot for him on the open market.
Although it’s still early in the offseason, the addition of Brandon Marshall could play a big part in helping New York capture their fifth Super Bowl championship in the modern era.
[Featured Image by Kathy Willens/AP Images]