Brandon Marshall's debut season with the New York Giants didn't go as planned. He struggled right out the gate and suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. While while Marshall continues to heal from the injury, he'll have to search for a new home. The Giants released Marshall after signing him to a two-year, $11 million deal last offseason, the team announced Thursday afternoon.
Why did the Giants release Marshall? He simply didn't perform up to expectations. Before Marshall underwent season-ending ankle surgery in October, he caught 18 passes for 154 yards and no touchdowns in five games. He also had some key dropped passes.
The Giants thought Marshall would add a spark to an Odell Beckham-led receiving corps, but both went on injured reserve instead. The Giants didn’t get a win until Week 6 and finished the season just 3-13.
Marshall, 33, was scheduled to make $5 million in 2018 and carried a $6,156,250 cap hit, according to spotrac.com.
Now the six-time Pro Bowler is on the open market.
Where can the Giants go from here? Marshall’s release isn’t a surprise. Beckham is already Eli Manning’s go-to receiver, so this team doesn't need a No. 1 guy. Despite his own injury issues this past season, Sterling Shepard is slowly blossoming into a solid second option, too.
But this is a young group. Although the Marshall experiment failed, New York could try again to make the receiving corps stronger by signing a veteran in free agency. There’s rumors of a possible Dez Bryant signing after his release from the Cowboys.
There have also been rumors Beckham could be traded, though those rumors have died down.
The Giants have had good luck drafting pass catchers, including tight end Evan Engram, in recent years. They could select another receiver in this upcoming draft. Either way, the Giants are not in desperate need for a receiver — they just need them to stay healthy.
What's next for Marshall? First, he has to get healthy and prove he can still produce on the field. Marshall will be 34 years old when the season starts, so teams are not going to throw a lot of money at him.
There’s also the possibility he’ll decide to call it a career. When he went on injured reserve in October, Marshall was adamant that he’d be back in 2018.
“I’m a competitor, and I don’t want to go out like that,” Marshall told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m definitely not going out like that.”
Marshall, who has appeared frequently on Inside the NFL, could easily transition to a TV career after he’s done on football.
But he doesn’t sound ready for that yet. In December, he said he was ”all in on football.”
“I want to win a Super Bowl,’’ he told Newsday’s Tom Rock. “That’s my number one priority.”
If he proves he’s healthy, maybe Marshall can get a Super Bowl contender to take a flier on him.