Brandon Marshall didn’t just come to the New York Giants for the chance to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. He also came to play with Odell Beckham Jr., arguably the top wide receiver in the league.
It is either going to be magic and poetry in motion or the biggest powder keg in league history. Marshall with his strong personality and Beckham, ever an off the field distraction…nothing could possibly go wrong.
On the field, the idea makes a lot of sense. The duo of Beckham and Marshall figures to be one of the best tandems in the NFL if not the best. With the Giants slow-to-start offense a season ago, the team now has some real playmakers at wide receiver for quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo to utilize.
They figure to help a unit that overwhelmed last year and faded in certain games, finding it hard to move the ball consistently and punch it into the end zone. There truly are no excuses now with Marshall joining Beckham this offseason via free agency.
“Absolutely, that’s why I came here, because of him,” Marshall said Saturday, referring to Beckham. “I’m tired of getting double coverage in the red zone. I’ll let him freakin’ carry all the weight.”
While Marshall had an understandably down year for the putrid Jets in 2016, he still is just a full year removed from a 1,000-yard season. He’s been relatively healthy and still boasts good production.
His frame and playmaking ability, even at 33-years old, will be counted upon to help a Giants team that was bottom-third in the league in red zone offense.
Even more worrisome, they were second to worst in the league in red zone scoring percentage over the season’s last three games.
What it comes down to for the Giants is sharing the ball. Beckham will undoubtedly get his fair share of balls as will Sterling Shepard, who showed flashes in the slot last year. While Marshall gave support to being here not for personal reasons to pad his statistics but actually win, he seems to genuinely to admire Beckham.
And Marshall is in Beckham’s corner when it comes to contract negotiations. This past week, Beckham had come out and said he wants to be the game’s highest paid player.
“I think anything that happens in New York, you get a lot of attention. You sit in the cafeteria and the New York Giants are always on NFL Network and ESPN. It’s one of the things where you have to deal with it,” Marshall said. “If you want to be a good player in New York, if you want to be a great team in New York, you have to be able to… and Coach McAdoo, he said it twice already in camp. ‘Enjoy it, it’s a blessing.’ You look out and you see this amazing skyline in New York City, but you can’t let that stuff overwhelm you. Odell obviously is the best player in the NFL, and he’s going to get a lot of attention on and off the field. As a teammate, you have to be there to support him. You have to be able to deal with that as well because he’s not even a superstar, he’s a rock star. It’s something that our NFL has never seen before. This guy’s a global icon at the age of what, 24 or 25?”