We should have seen this coming. After being released by the Jets five days ago, Brandon Marshall has found a new home, if by “new” you mean moving right across the hall at MetLife Stadium to the Giants.
Conventional wisdom around the NFL was Marshall would sign with a team on the cusp of a championship. In his 12 NFL seasons, Marshall’s teams haven’t played in a single playoff game.
Right off the bat, speculation mounted he would sign with the Patriots. What better place is there in the NFL than New England where you’re virtually guaranteed a playoff game every season? He could have also chosen to team up with Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh, or join forces with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Instead, Marshall chose the New York Football Giants at the seemingly appalling discounted rate of $6 million per year over two years. To be fair, the Giants have the makings of a Super Bowl contender. The defense improved astronomically in 2016 after being the league’s worst unit in 2015. New York went from being ranked 32nd in total defense to moving all the way up to 10th.
Eli Manning already has two Super Bowl rings on his resume, and Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably the most talented receiver in the game today. Adding Marshall appears to put the Giants right up there with some of the NFC’s best teams.
But for my money, one of the biggest reasons why Marshall signed with the Giants was because of how convenient it is for him to continue his role as a panelist on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, which films in New York City every Tuesday during the season.
It’s evident how important the show is to him (we don’t know how much he gets paid to appear on TV) based on how much money he seemingly left on the table to stay in the New York area. There’s no way the Giants offered him the most money at just $6 million annually.
Since he’s not moving very far, being present for the show’s tapings shouldn’t be an issue at all. No charter planes to worry about, just a short drive through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel from East Rutherford and he’s there.
The Patriots were never going to happen for Marshall because he knew better than anyone Bill Belichick would not have allowed him to talk about the happenings in New England to a national audience. That wasn’t going to fly under Belichick.
The next closest team to New York is the Eagles, but they’re not close enough to being a championship contender for Marshall to be willing to sign there. Every other team Marshall could have chosen would have required a significantly extra amount of travel in order to get to New York for the show.
In the end, the Giants were the easiest, most convenient destination for Marshall, and when you consider his aspirations of continuing his broadcasting career once his playing days are officially over, it’s not a surprise he decided to keep his talents in the New York area.