This feels like more of a news story than it is, I think. Brandon Marshall is a fringe Hall of Famer who frequently elevated the play of the sub-par quarterbacks around him. If you had paired him with a Hall of Fame quarterback for the majority of his career – if, for instance, he had played his 12 years with Tom Brady – we might be talking about one of the very best wide receivers of all time. But, I guess teams didn’t want to deal with his personality or whatever, so he never really stuck with any one team. Not for longer than 4 years, anyway.
The Seahawks would be his 6th NFL team. Up until last year’s injury-riddled stint with the Giants, Brandon Marshall had racked up at least one 1,000-yard season everywhere he went, with guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Kyle Orton, and Jay Cutler (again) throwing to him. Just like Russell Wilson is the best quarterback Brian Schottenheimer has ever had, Russell Wilson is the best quarterback Brandon Marshall will have ever had.
Of course, that’s assuming he sticks. It’s just too bad he’s 34 years old instead of 24 years old.
It’s a 1-year deal, for up to $2 million with incentives. I can’t imagine much of it – if any – is guaranteed. This has the feel of a guy we bring into Training Camp and see if he has anything left in the tank, a la Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards.
Obviously, Doug Baldwin is your #1 and Tyler Lockett is your #2. The Seahawks brought in Jaron Brown to be the team’s #3, so if anything, this looks like it’s Jaron Brown Insurance. Brandon Marshall can walk onto this team right this moment (assuming he’s fully healthy from last year’s injury) and be the 5th or 6th best receiver on this roster. That would take very minimal effort from a fringe Hall of Famer, but you don’t bring in a Brandon Marshall to be this team’s 5th or 6th receiver. Because, in all honesty, you need more from those guys; you need those guys to be standout special teamers, and that’s absolutely not in the cards for Marshall. The only way Marshall makes the team is if he’s so much better than you’d expect him to be. If he’s simply AS good as Amara Darboh, David Moore, or Marcus Johnson, then guess what: you’re going to keep the younger guys with more cost control and less miles on their legs! Is he better than those guys right now? Almost certainly, but that’s not enough.
Brandon Marshall isn’t fighting for a spot against all the other wide receivers on this 90-man roster; he’s fighting for a roster spot against Jaron Brown. He essentially needs to be BETTER than Jaron Brown to make this team. I should point out that it doesn’t preclude the team from keeping both; in that hypothetical scenario, it just means both Brown and Marshall will have impressed the coaching staff enough to make a difficult decision (also in that hypothetical scenario, figure that means the team keeps 6 receivers, which – if I have to guess – is not something they want to do; I bet they opt to keep 5 and one of those veteran receivers gets the ax; most likely Marshall, but that’s neither here nor there).
In the end, figure it’s much ado about nothing. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Marshall is good enough to make this team, aside from some pretty serious injuries to the wide receiver unit.