Marshall to Giants could be big win for both sides
By Ralph Vacchiano
INDIANAPOLIS – In a perfect (and uncapped) world, Brandon Marshall would make perfect sense for the Giants. He’s the big receiver they’ve needed for years, a potential mentor for the young and turbulent Odell Beckham, and with a personality that proved to be a good fit for New York.
And while the Giants’ salary cap situation could make it complicated, now that Marshall is an ex-Jet, a move to the other locker room at the Meadowlands makes too much sense for the Giants not to at least try.
Begin with the football aspect of it. The Giants are in need of an outside receiver after cutting Victor Cruz, who was a bad fit on the outside anyway. They need one accomplished and dangerous enough to take some pressure off Beckham. And they need one with size, since the book on quarterback Eli Manning since his college days has always been that when he misses his target, more often than not he misses high.
Just remember how successful Manning was in his best years, throwing to the 6-3 Amani Toomer and the 6-5 Plaxico Burress. Manning was (and to an extent still is) an expert at throwing passes, especially along the sidelines, where only his receivers can reach them. Add in a tall receiver with long arms – something the Giants really haven’t had since Burress left — and there’s seemingly a recipe for instant success.
Now, the 36-year-old Manning isn’t the same player he was back then, and neither is the soon-to-be-33 Marshall. But Marshall is still 6-4, 230 and he’s only one year removed from a 109-catch, 1,502-yard, 14-touchdown season – which, by the way, was accomplished with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Even last season Marshall caught 59 passes for 788 yards while battling injuries and catching passes from a literal mess of Jets quarterbacks.
There’s no reason why he can’t do much better with Beckham and Sterling Shepard drawing coverage and Manning throwing the ball.
Of course, Marshall does come with issues. For one, he’ll likely want to continue his high-profile job with Showtime – which could be difficult since “Inside the NFL” tapes on Tuesdays, and that’s a work day on the Giants’ schedule now. If it can be arranged, though, the Giants would likely let him do it as long as it doesn’t conflict with his work schedule. After all, as Ben McAdoo proved during the playoffs last season, he’s pretty lenient and understanding about with what his players do on their own time.