News broke Monday morning that the New York Giants have signed ex-Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall to a two-year, $12 million contract.
The news was reported by Kimberley A. Martin, New York Jets beat writer for Newsday. Marshall is coming off of a 59 reception, 788 yard, and three touchdown season with the Jets. This comes the year after Marshall posted 109 receptions for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns (career high) in 2015. Marshall was due to make $7 million next season with the Jets, but Marshall requested his release from the team, in hopes of finally reaching the playoffs for the first time in his illustrious career. Marshall did not have to go far, staying in the same stadium, but this time, turning in his Gang Green for Big Blue.
“I think it’s the perfect situation for me,” said Marshall. “There’s a stability in ownership. Since I’ve been in New York, all I’ve heard is amazing things about how well-run this organization is. Now I can understand why everybody holds the Giants organization so high.”
“Brandon is a big, talented wide receiver who we believe can still pay at a very high level,” said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. “But, most of all, we believe he still has the hunger.”
With the release of Victor Cruz, the Giants were left with Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard as a two man attack. If the Giants were to enter the season with this two man tandem, the job of the opposing defense would be more likely to stifle the Giants’ offense. The addition of Marshall give the Giants the big receiver on the outside that the Giants have been missing since Plaxico Burress. Marshall gives the Giants a three-headed monster of a receiver corps that the rest of the league will have to game plan for.
“I know my number one job is to take pressure off the other receivers by doing my job and being a great receiver,” said Marshall. “I think that naturally will happen as far as being able to be that older guy in the room where they can learn from my history and my experiences. There is a lot that they can pull from. Hopefully, we’ll learn from each other.”
Marshall is known for his recurring role on Showtime’s Inside the NFL and it was thought that was the main reason why Marshall chose to sign with the Giants. Marshall put those rumors to rest, stating that his main priority to help the Giants.
“I will say that I will not be doing a lot of media and television moving forward,” said Marshall. “Out of respect for the guys who have given me an opportunity, I want to talk with them because everything happened so fast…But to answer your question, it will be really limited.”
One of the questions that many fans are asking is if Marshall and Beckham’s personalities will mesh well together. Some sides of the spectrum believe that there is no way that Marshall and Beckham would be able to co-exist. However, on the other side, fans believe that Marshall will be able to mentor Beckham and keep him in check. Marshall has built a relationship with Beckham for the past two years, which he describes as “great.”
“I love his passion, I love his approach to the game, and I’m just happy I can be on the other side of him to pull coverage and make his job easier,” said Marshall, of Beckham. “…I’m sure that he’s going to use me when he needs to, and he’s going to pull from my experiences, both good and bad, and I’m excited to see him take it to another level. This kid isn’t even in his prime yet and he’s a monster. I can’t wait to be a part of this journey, this maturation process that he’s on.”
Marshall’s signing gives him the opportunity to play with a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback in Eli Manning. Throughout his career, Marshall has never played with a Super Bowl winning quarterback, and Manning could be the best quarterback Marshall has ever been paired with.
“Not probably. He is,” said Marshall, regarding Manning. “…I don’t think people realize how hard Eli works in the film room and in the classroom, and how he’s an amazing leader. Obviously, we know about his physical ability. What’s not reported is how hard he works off the field…So being able to play with a guy who’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and has done some amazing things in this league for a long time, he’s a warrior, and I’m looking forward to following him.”
The one thing that has eluded Marshall throughout his entire NFL career was the playoffs. Throughout his career, Marshall has played in 167 total games (151 starts), which is the highest number of games played by an active player to not appear in the playoffs. Marshall does not only have the playoffs on his mind, but the Lombardi Trophy as well. With this signing, Marshall hopes to finally check off the final box on his NFL career, “Super Bowl Champion.”
“To get straight to the point – it was all about a championship, they presented the best opportunity to be in a championship organization…That’s why I’m here. I’m here just because of that reason, because I want to finish my career as a winner.”