With midnight drawing near all free agents will be sitting by the phone eagerly awaiting a phone call from one of the other 31 teams that DIDN’T kick them to the curb. But this article is about arguably the best free agent available and yet the most troubled, soon to be former Broncos wide receiver, Brandon Marshall.
Ever since Marshall came out of the University of Central Florida in the 2006 draft, people have questioned his maturity, and even now, people will still question it. He has constantly been involved with the law. He has assaulted police, drove under the influence, and attacked his girlfriend… and yet, the NFL will put up with it. You know why? Because Brandon Marshall has proved that he is worth the headaches he causes.
Now let me say that I am by no means condoning what Brandon Marshall has done in his troubled career, but I will say that he has proved that he does not let his off the field actions affect him on the playing field. Since he has came into the NFL, Brandon has recorded 4,019 yards receiving, scored 25 times, and in 3 consecutive seasons has racked up 100+ catch seasons (07-09, and by the way that is only trailing future 1st ballot Hall of Famer, Marvin Harrison, who has 4 consecutive 100+ receptions seasons) and of course everyone remembers his record breaking 21 reception game against the Colts on December 13th, 2009. This guy can play, pure and simple.
If someone asked me; “Hey, would you give up a 1st round pick for Brandon Marshall?” I would respond; “Only a 1st round pick? I would have given more!” and if you need any proof of how amazing a wide receiver Brandon is, just look at the picture posted. Catching the ball at its highest point above the head of arguably one of the best corners in the NFL, Terrance Newman, breaking him off, and leaving 10 other Dallas Cowboys in the dust. To me Marshall is in the top 3 wide receivers in the NFL. He is possibly the most complete. He has fantastic hands, blazing speed, crazy ups, and possibly the greatest asset Marshall has is running after the catch. Without a doubt the best run after the catch wide receiver in the NFL. He can make people miss and it’s those extra yards that he racks up that will help out your team. He’s young and better than any receiver that you could trade for or get in this year’s draft by far.
The only thing that is stopping Brandon Marshall from being the best wide receiver in the NFL is his attitude and lack of a mentor. Marshall is only 25 years old and turns 26 on March 23rd, and I honestly believe that in that near 26 year life span, Marshall never had a mentor or father figure if you will, to teach him right from wrong. He never had someone just grab him by the collar and say; “Stop it.” Or at least nobody that he would listen to. This is why I believe the absolute best thing that could happen to Brandon is if he is signed by the Baltimore Ravens. He would mature and become possibly the greatest wide receiver in the NFL.
Going to the Ravens would be the single best thing that could possibly happen to him. He would finally have a mentor, he would finally have someone who would show him the ropes and teach him to be a leader and a good teammate, and that leader is Ray Lewis. Lewis is arguably the greatest defensive leader of all time. He connects with his teammates on an unprecedented level and bleeds in the trenches with his men, and I truly believe that Brandon is the missing puzzle piece to help this team win the Super Bowl.
The Ravens have everything they need to win the Super Bowl, EXCEPT, that key go to receiver who will always make that clutch catch when needed, whether that means jumping above everyone and risking his body, or getting jacked up by a defender, he will make that catch. Derrick Mason is a fantastic player, but he is obviously nearing the end and I don’t believe that he will be there much longer, and once he’s gone, that would mean the STARTING wide receiver would be Mark Clayton and that would create huge problems for the Ravens offense and especially Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, because they would become one dimensional. Simply put, they have the defense, they have the coach, they have the leaders, and they have the quarterback and running back, now… they just need THE wide receiver.
Nothing would make me happier than turning my television on Sunday afternoons and seeing Brandon Marshall sporting a purple jersey with a fierce Raven on the helmet, making big catches and seeing all the Raven fans losing their minds and Joe Flacco thinking “Thank God I have him to throw to!” This is a picture that I hope all of us get to see this coming season, but some will still doubt him and some will say; “I think he will still be a cancer, a thug, and a distraction. He will never change and will always be a selfish person.” And to which I respond;
“Quoth the Raven, NEVERMORE.”