07 March 2015

Breaking down the Brandon Marshall trade to the Jets

Only a few days after the surprising LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade between the Eagles and Bills, we have another high profile inter-conference deal, this one being between the Bears and the Jets. Brandon Marshall is headed to Florham Park for a fifth-round draft choice, making the Jets his fourth team in six years. Let's break this move down.

At face value, this is a total steal for the Jets. Even as his production declined last season, Marshall is still a really good wideout that can catch just about anything near him. For a team that was weak at the receiver position last year even after signing Eric Decker (who, unsurprisingly, did not perform as a no. 1 wideout level), being able to acquire a guy like Marshall, who will come cheaper than Percy Harvin who is expected to be released, for only a fifth-round draft pick is a good get.

But there is also the facts that this is the third team to deal Marshall for less-than-market return. He was a noticeable issue in the locker room during a mess of a season in Chicago last year and he does come with a bit of a mercurial reputation. To his defense, he also deserves plaudits for announcing a few years ago that he had been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder. He also had some injuries last year and did take a nice step back in production

And not even the best wide receiver in the world would not be able to fix what is at the crux of the Jets' offensive issues: the quarterback position. Geno Smith is clearly not the answer under center and there is no real quality alternatives available in free agency, meaning they will have to draft a quarterback or make a trade. This trade basically takes a wide receiver off the table for the Jets at the sixth selection and with not too many of the elite prospects that should be available filling big needs, that opens the door for Marcus Mariota coming to New Jersey should he be available. Or perhaps even more important than that, that may make it more likely for the Eagles to try to trade up to acquire Chip Kelly's former quarterback given that it would seem unlikely now that Mariota would fall past the Jets.

As for the Bears, they are clearly trying to rid themselves of the malcontents and trouble-makers that played a role of last year's disaster of a season. With John Fox coming to town, the atmosphere in the Chicago locker room was going to change and parting with Marshall, even for only a fifth-round pick, was a step in the right direction. It also saves them some money to boot. Now the question will be regarding what, if anything, they will do with Jay Cutler.

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