The Giants have reportedly agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall, who will turn 33 later this month, finished the 2016 season with 59 catches for 788 yards and three touchdowns, and is just one season removed from a 1,502-yard, 14-score effort in 2015. He still has great hands, and is loyal to a fault (at least in cases involving Ryan Fitzpatrick):
For Marshall, the move makes plenty of sense. He doesn’t have to move — he’s played for the Jets since 2015 — and he can try to record the ninth 1,000-plus-yard receiving season of his career in a city in which he’s clearly comfortable.
From the Giants’ standpoint, this move bolsters an offense that regularly struggled throughout the 2016 campaign. While the team finished second in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, it ranked just 22nd in the offensive metric, and it averaged 19.4 points per game, a mark that was good enough for 26th in NFL — one spot behind the lowly Jaguars. It also gives New York a proven playmaker opposite Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants’ only wideout to surpass the 700-yard-receiving plateau last fall.
As has been pointed out on Twitter, the Giants front office recently released receiver Victor Cruz, clearing $7.5 million off its 2017 cap. If Marshall is seen as a Cruz replacement, he’s one who saves the team money:
This signing appears to be exceedingly sensible for both sides, not least because Marshall has previously told reporters that he sees the 24-year-old Beckham as a younger version of himself. Marshall gives quarterback Eli Manning another trusted target as the team tries to catch the Cowboys in the NFC East, while the Giants give Marshall the chance to stay in a city (and media market) that he loves. No word to date on how Marshall feels about postseason boating expeditions to Miami.