New York Giants Sign Brandon Marshall

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants agreed to terms on a contract with veteran wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, on Wednesday morning. The transaction is seen by league insiders as having the potential of being the most significant move of the offseason by any team.

The Giants, coming off a 2016 season which earned them a return to the NFL playoffs, losing in the wild card round to the Green Bay Packers, needed to upgrade the production from the receiver position. The team parted ways with veteran receiver Victor Cruz shortly after their playoff loss.

Marshall is no stranger to New York, having just completed a stint with the crosstown Jets, and is seen as a strong route runner who can also make impact plays downfield. The Giants and Eli Manning will look to stretch the field with both Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr. on either flank of their offensive formations.

The presence of Beckham, who draws a significant amount of attention from opposing defenses will help Marshall be more effective in this situation. The injuries sustained by other Jets wide receivers last season caused Marshall to be the sole focus of the opposing defensive game plan, which impacted his overall production in a negative manner.

Marshall will take an overall pay cut as he was due to make $7.5 million if he stayed with the Jets in 2017 under his prior contract terms. The deal with Giants, according to numerous reports, is for 2 years at $12 million total. He does enter a better situation as far as his opportunity to play in the postseason with the Giants as Marshall is 32 and in the final stages of his career.

The Giants upgrade at the position over Cruz, who had a drop off in production last season. Some will attribute that production decline to the two major injuries Cruz sustained consecutively, and others pin the decline on him being used in a different spot in the formation. The belief by some in the beat media for the team, as well as some groups in the fan base, are that Cruz was not used in the slot position last season, where he played for most of his career.

The claim by these groups is that Cruz was essentially “miscast” and also not targeted enough in the offensive passing game last season. Moreover, there are others who believe that the decline of Victor Cruz, and ultimately his release from the Giants, was the result of a combination of both those factors: the injuries, and being used in a much different role in the offense.

Marshall is a veteran that can make an impact on a game and has some unique physical and athletic talents. He also has publicly struggled with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and has done a great deal of community outreach and awareness campaigns to change the stigma around the disorder.

He will continue to be able to work with his foundation and other community groups to continue to raise awareness of the warning signs, symptoms, consequences, and treatments for BPD. The ability to continue to undertake that work from New York, the media capital of the world, is an additional benefit to Marshall signing with the Giants.

Marshall is known for his toughness on the football field, his honesty and candor with the media, and for his work to help others who suffer from mental illness. The Giants upgraded both their roster and their locker room with this addition today, and both the player and his new team should benefit in 2017.