On paper, Brandon Marshall is hard to pass up.
His stats in 2007: 102 receptions, 1325 yards, 7 TDs.
2008: 104 receptions, 1265 yards, 6 TDs.
That kind of production, in just the second and third years of a career, does not come along often. Marshall is a once-in-a-generation mix of athleticism, speed, and hands. General managers, coaches, and quarterbacks all dream about players like him.
And even though that very production has seemingly become available, I'm hoping that Giants GM Jerry Reese is dreaming about something else.
He better be.
Even after a year in which the Giants' top two receivers combined to gain just 1116 yards, and with the entire receiving corps in what might be total flux, the Giants would do well to stay away from one of the NFL's biggest headcases.
In addition to gaining 149 more yards than Domenik Hixon and Amani Toomer by himself, Marshall has also outdone the Giants' receiving corps in another notable statistic: police incidents.
With charges of domestic battery against him still pending, Marshall was arrested after an altercation with his fiancée, Michi Nogami, this past March. The pending charges are not his first.
A recently aired episode of ESPN's Outside the Lines featured a profile of Marshall that was alternated between damning and chilling.
In addition to the details of seven cases of domestic abuse involving Marshall and his then-girlfriend, Rasheeda Watley, Bob Barr's profile detailed Marshall's attempts to buy her silence; at one point, Marshall's attorneys offered Watley $100,000 to keep her from pressing charges.
There are also Marshall's numerous team violations—too numerous, in fact to list—but at this point it should be clear that Brandon Marshall would be a bad fit for the Giants.
One of this team's biggest strengths, intangible though it might be, is its heart and its character. It played an indisputable role in the Giants' 2007 championship run, and it continues to be their bedrock. And even if he is a good teammate, even if he lacks the dramatic flair of, say, Terrell Owens, his mere presence in the locker room would be a disaster.
There is no such thing as a team that does well with distractions, and if Marshall somehow wound up in Giants' blue, the distractions would never end. His court hearings alone would be good for months of New York sports media headaches.
Plus, if Brandon Jacobs doesn't think Braylon Edwards is good enough for his locker room, then what kind of welcome mat is he going to roll out for Marshall?
It's unlikely Reese will knock over his impressive set of building blocks, just to take a risk. The Giants don't need Brandon Marshall. But even if they did, he wouldn't be worth it.