Say what you want about Brandon Marshall, he won’t care. He doesn’t listen to the outside noise. He suits up and chalks up 1,000-yard receiving seasons, regardless of what color jersey is on his back.
The epitome of a journeyman, Marshall will be playing for his fifth team in the twelfth season of his career in 2017. This isn’t news to anyone, and neither is the idea of these so-called journeyman athletes who hop from team to team in search of the next big paycheck or the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.
What sets the six-time Pro Bowler apart from the other dozens of journeymen wide receivers before him is his adaptability. The quarterback doesn’t matter, the offense doesn’t matter, the team doesn’t matter. He consistently finds a niche in every offense and gains the trust of his quarterbacks.
He’s actually exceeded the 1,000 yard mark with all four of his previous squads, which is a record he alone holds. Actually, if we’re nitpicking, he’s topped 1,200 yards for every team he’s played on.
The league is full of players who hop from team to team and don’t click with the quarterback, or the coach, or they can’t learn the playbook. When this happens, said player will fade into obscurity or jump ship to another team. On some occasions, they can revitalize their image and step back into the spotlight, like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens did. Others like Chad Ocho Cinco, who signed with New England but eventually retired after not being able to see the field, are not as lucky.
Marshall seems immune to whatever it is that makes some players unable to adjust to change. He’s played in some terrible offense with rarely a serviceable quarterback, but it hasn’t slowed his production.
He’s played on the West Coast, the East Coast, the the Midwest and down in the Florida heat. It makes no difference. Plug him in and chalk up 1,000 yards.
In his new situation with the Giants, he will be the shiny new toy for the best quarterback he’s ever caught passes from. Eli Manning may have been the happiest person when news of the Marshall signing broke. His offense already touted a top 5 wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., and a promising rookie across the field in Sterling Shepard. Add Marshall to the mix and the Giants could be looking at a return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 6 years.
Manning actually has more Super Bowl rings than he has seasons in which he’s passed for more than 1,000 yards to multiple receivers. The lone season he accomplished the feat was in the 2011 Super Bowl year. Nothing against Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, but a Marshall-Beckaham Jr. combination has the makings of a huge statistical season.
Marshall averages just over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns per season, while OBJ tops 1,300 yards and 11 scores on average. If Shepard can continue onto carve out a place in the offense and Manning keeps slinging the ball all over the field in 2017, this has potential of being one of the best Giants offenses in quite some time.
If that’s the case, Marshall may get the opportunity he hasn’t been given with any other team: a shot at a Super Bowl ring. Or hell, a shot at a playoff game!
Marshall can also further entrench himself in the record books if he tops the 1,000 yard mark with a fifth franchise. In doing so, he’d also move up to at least nineteenth on the all-time receiving yardage list, passing Hall of Famer Steve Largent.
I’m not saying he has a gold jacket locked up, but if Marshall can find success with his second New York squad, and beyond, his resumé will be one the voters have to look at more than once.