Missed Opportunity: Why the Patriots Should Have Signed Brandon Marshall

Photo courtesy of Sports Mockery

By Jack Briney
Sports Columnist

Brandon Marshall, a five time Pro-Bowl wide receiver, has just been released from the New York Jets. Marshall decided to remain in the ‘Big Apple’ as he signed a two-year 12 million dollar contract with the New York Giants today.

After 11 disappointing seasons of never making the playoffs, Brandon Marshall is postseason hungry. Why wouldn’t he be? Compared to others without a playoff appearance, he has more receptions than any other NFL receiver, ever. Playing in Denver from 2006-2009, Miami from 2010-2011, Chicago from 2012-2014, and finally with the New York Jets from 2015-2016, each year Brandon Marshall has averaged over a thousand yards and nearly 100 receptions. At 6’4 and 230 pounds, a player of this caliber should be terrorizing defenses in the postseason.

Recently, Brandon Marshall had demonstrated interest in playing with the New England Patriots. A team with seven super bowl appearances and five super bowl wins, the Patriots appeared to be a perfect fit for a dominant wide receiver like Marshall until he signed with the Giants.

Over the years, the Patriots have enjoyed the pleasure of playing with many scrappy slot receivers like Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, and Danny Amendola. These players are great for high percentage passing plays and quick first downs. However, aside from Chris Hogan, an undrafted wide receiver who assisted the Patriots through the playoffs, the Patriots, at the helm of Tom Brady, have proven unable to throw a successful deep ball like they did with Randy Moss from 2007 to 2010.

With the help of a lanky wide receiver like Marshall to stretch the field, the Patriots’ offense has room to improve. Marshall is known to run deep routes, earning double team and safety coverage, which would have allowed the slot receivers to find open space for short yardage passes.

Clearly New England was an excellent fit for this pro bowler in the upcoming season, despite Marshall’s attitude concerns.

The Patriots definitely had the cap room to sign Marshall to a short term deal. New England had the fifth most cap room in the NFL, with a little over 61 million to spend.

Marshall, who is known by some as a “me” player, has been traded 3 times in the past 6 years as a result of being arrested multiple times early in his career. Does this NFL wide receiver continue to carry an unlucky curse that could potentially end the New England Patriots unforgettable dynasty?

However, one must remember that Moss was a “me” player before coming to New England and playing under the strict, no-nonsense Belichick regime. The same positive transformation seems possible for Marshall.

However, Brandon Marshall’s best days are behind him. The 32 year old is coming off a season with only 59 receptions for 788 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, this is all while having Ryan Fitzpatrick throw the ball (instead of the Greatest of All Time, Tom Brady.) Marshall’s years of being one of the best is coming to a close. A team like New England, who has a history of signing old veterans such as Steven Jackson and Chad Ochocinco, is where Marshall would be able to find the most success at the end of his career.

New England will hope to find success in other players through free agency and the NFL draft. Patriots fans should not be worried; Belichick seems to always have something up his sleeve.