How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marshall?



One of the major wild cards for the Jets is embattled wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is full of on-field potentials but off-field problems. (Courtesy of Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune via TNS)


Following several years of questionable trades and mismanagement, the New York Jets have made major changes over this offseason, including firing Head Coach Rex Ryan and trading for embattled wide receiver Brandon Marshall. While major changes have been on tap for the Jets for years now, there are still several question marks on the roster and in the front office. One of the major wild cards is Marshall, who is full of on-field potential, but also off-field problems. Can this trade be a game-changer for the Jets or another failed experiment like the Percy Harvin deal?

On one hand, the Jets have dealt for a capable receiver that can help the team’s quarterback corps, which is almost definitely the biggest problem for Gang Green. Having a reliable receiver like Marshall will certainly help the young Geno Smith take the next step in his development as a starting NFL quarterback. As a team that has been without a “go-to” receiver for a while now, Marshall should be able to improve the Jets passing offense, which ranked 32nd in the league last season. The team has made several moves this offseason to put themselves in a “win-now” mode, but it is too early to see if this will pay off.

While Marshall should benefit the Jets on the field, he has had a troubled past, which seems to be a narrative that is becoming too common in the NFL. Marshall does have several off-field issues, including a borderline personality disorder that has been well publicized. In fact, admirably, he has become an advocate for mental health treatment. However, the wide receiver has had several charges leveled against him, including multiple allegations of domestic abuse. In today’s NFL, domestic abuse is taken with utmost significance, as it should be, but players that are accused of this crime are becoming increasingly ostracized in the league. Liabilities in a player’s personal life are beginning to outweigh ability, and this is a concern regarding Marshall. Despite his ability to be a great asset in the Jets’ emaciated passing offense, Marshall’s private problems might doom his tenure with the Jets.

The New York Jets have made strides toward contention this offseason, but Marshall, perhaps the team’s savior on the offense, is a large question mark looming on their roster. The team has made a good trade that should benefit the team in games, but Marshall has the propensity to cause the Jets headaches off the field. The Marshall trade has shored up a weak wide receiver position, which especially helps the team, as they can now look to the draft to fill other holes on the roster. At the moment, the Jets seem to have gotten the best of this deal, but the team has a long history of being unable to handle personality problems on the roster. There is no doubt that Brandon Marshall will be a significant roster-changing player for New York, but the question remains about whether or not this change will be positive or negative.