By: Ryan Kirouac
Brandon Marshall, former star receiver of the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and now the New York Jets will be looking for a new home in 2017. Marshall had once said that the Jets would be his last team and he would retire once his time was up there, but this thought has come and gone. Marshall is a veteran receiver, who has never played in a playoff game in his 10 year career and is looking to do so before he retires. That is key when it comes to his possible landing spots. No one is immune to father time (except maybe Tom Brady), and Marshall’s stats in 2016 weren’t impressive, especially for a guy coming off of a 109 catch, 1,502 yard, 14 touchdown season in 2015. He could be on the decline, but he is still one of the top pass catchers in the league. So what makes him a perfect fit for New England?
In a league where winning is everything, Marshall hasn’t been able to achieve the greatest glory in all of American sports: Super Bowl Champion. Not only that, Marshall has never made the playoffs. At this point in his career, its time to sign with a team who is built to win and is already a contender. Obviously the defending Super Bowl Champions are a prime candidate if that is the route he wishes to go. Rumor has it that the Patriots and Marshall already have ‘mutual interest’, so this just might be what he wants to do.
New England prides itself on the use of short, intermediate passing routes with small speedy receivers. It works, and the balance of having a guy like Chris Hogan and Gronkowski who can go down field and make the big plays every now and then is what makes New England so dangerous. The tallest receiver on the team at the moment is Michael Floyd, who is a free agent with no guarantees as far as his return to the team considering he is currently serving a jail sentence. Marshall is 6’4″ and 230 pounds. As we’ve seen throughout the years, Marshall is a big play receiver who can tower over most defenders and get the ball. Brady’s career, though many don’t want to admit it, is coming to an end in the next few years, so getting him all the weapons we can to make it as easy as possible is key to winning more Super Bowls before his time comes.
The Patriots can have Gronk lined up tight, Amendola, Hogan, Edelman or Mitchell (take your pick, they all work) in the slot, White and Lewis in the backfield and Marshall lined up wide ready to go deep. That is a nightmare for defensive coordinators. It is impossible to cover every one of those guys, there are only so many stars on every teams defense. He may want a lot of money, but New England is 6th in the NFL in cap space this year with $59,397,759 to work with. They have a lot of key players to re-sign, but there is definitely enough money to sign the most important guys back, and get a big time play-maker like Brandon Marshall.
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Cover Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America