"Brandon's commitment and passion for football is undeniable," said Jets owner Woody Johnson. "His drive to support mental health awareness is beyond admirable. We appreciate his contributions to the organization and wish him the best."
"I've known Brandon a long time and, more than the great player he is, I'm proud of the man that he's become," said head coach Todd Bowles. "His passion about mental health awareness speaks for itself and he was always willing to mentor our younger players. He cares deeply about the game and others and it shows in everything he does."
For a player of Marshall’s talent level, it’s a somewhat surprising yet similarly predictable move for New York. After all, while the receiver is only one year removed from setting Jets franchise records for single-season receptions and receiving yards (as well as tying the mark for touchdowns), he will be 33 next season and is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career.
Granted, the Jets had issues at the quarterback position, but Marshall’s 59 catches, 788 receiving yards, and three scores were disappointing nonetheless. Teammate Quincy Enunwa led New York in both receiving yards and touchdowns last season, with Eric Decker sidelined after sustaining an injury early in the year.
Originally slated to make $7.5 million in 2017, Marshall will now become a cap casualty (with no dead money for New York). The impending free agent is still a playmaker who, in the right situation, could remain one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
I'm told #Jets are granting Brandon Marshall's wish for his release so he can find a better fit— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) March 3, 2017
There will be plenty of suitors seeking Marshall’s services on the open market, even with the receiver’s baggage and track record. The superstar wideout can still serve as a top receiving option for a team in desperate need of receiving help or could even complement as the second option in a team’s passing game, should the fit be there. (How cool would it be to see Marshall take his talents to Pittsburgh opposite Antonio Brown, or Cincinnati opposite A.J. Green?)
Marshall is the third marquee Jets veteran to become a cap casualty this offseason, along with former teammates Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis. Cutting the three superstars, though likely not an ideal move for New York, has cleared a substantial portion of cap room while ensuring the team can get younger on both sides of the ball. Other Jets cuts this offseason include kicker Nick Folk and tackle Breno Giacomini.
The Jets’ rebuild has officially begun.