Reports out of Denver are saying that disgruntled Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall is following in the footsteps of former quarterback Jay Cutler and seeking a trade from the Broncos.
Mike Florio, of Profootballtalk.com reported today on the Comcast Morning Show that the Ravens are interested in acquiring the play making wide out.
The Ravens have a history of not dealing with players who have off the field problems which is precisely what Marshall is. In both 2007 and 2008 Marshall was arrested for domestic battery while in March of this season he was involved in a domestic dispute with his fiancee and was again arrested.
Despite all of his off the field issues Marshall is an absolute beast at the Wide Out position and would provide the Ravens with the big play threat their offense so desperately needs.
Last year in 15 games, Marshall recorded 104 catches for 1,265 yards and six touchdowns leading to his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2007, Marshall has two less catches and 60 more yards but most importantly led the NFL in YAC(Yards after catch/contact) with 510 yards. The YAC yards and his ability to run over potential tacklers is what makes Marshall and intriguing option for the Ravens.
Derrick Mason, who has been the Ravens best receiver since his arrival in Baltimore, is considered to be a possession receiver who lacks the ability to stretch the field. Brandon Marshall would be a perfect complement to Mason and would give the Ravens one of the most formidable receiving combos in the NFL.
One thing prohibiting the Ravens from bringing in Marshall(similar to the Anquan Boldin situation), is the probability that the Broncos will request at least a first round draft pick in return for Marshall and then Marshall will want a new contract at season’s end. The Ravens still must negotiate with Terrell Suggs, and will have to pay Albert Haynesworth like money, in what could be an uncapped year after this year, to keep Haloti Ngata a Raven.
Teams can maneuver around the cap in many ways, so if the Ravens really want Marshall, I think they can find a way to sign him and remain under the cap. The main issue is Ozzie Newsome’s reluctance to trade draft picks in order to acquire a player.
I think Marshall- who is four years younger then Boldin- is worth a first round draft pick and more and the Ravens should seriously consider acquiring him.
With the losses and aging on defense, the Ravens defense will be good, but not the “elite” defense of past teams, which is why they need to shift their focus to the offensive side of the ball. Upgrading the offense can compensate for whatever stuggles the defense may have. Marshall would make the Ravens a legitimate offensive power and would take a lot of pressure off the defense to hold to teams to less than 17 points to win.
Obviously there are pros and cons to bringing in a player like Marshall, but I am under the mindset that Joe Flacco needs weapons and the identity of this franchise should shift to the offensive side of the ball. The salary cap can be maneuvered around by back loading contracts or giving bigger signing bonuses so I am not overly concerned with that issue.
Marshall is a cancer off the field but I believe the Ravens organization and locker room is strong enough to keep him in check and prohibit him from being a problem.
Hopefully when the Ravens take the field at M&T Bank Stadium on September 13th to battle the Chiefs, Brandon Marshall is lined up in a Ravens uniform opposite of Derrick Mason.
That would make Ravens fans and Joe Flacco extremely happy and could end with a February trip to Miami.