Editor’s Note: In what could only be described as unfortunate timing, the New York Giants signed Brandon Marshall within an hour of this post being published. We’ll leave the post up for posterity, but know that we’re aware that the Ravens signing Marshall is no longer a possibility.
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a wide receiver, and signing a proven veteran like Brandon Marshall would fit the Ravens perfectly.
Now that Steve Smith Sr. has retired, the Baltimore Ravens have a big hole at the wide receiver position. They’ve talked about filling that hole with current receivers Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, but someone like free agent Brandon Marshall would fit the bill perfectly.
The Baltimore Ravens have found success in signing veteran wide receivers. They did it with Derrick Mason, they did it with Anquan Boldin, and they did it with Steve Smith Sr. So why not continue the trend and do it with Brandon Marshall?
There’s no doubt that Marshall is still an incredibly skilled receiver. Yes, he had a down year last year, catching only 59 balls (a career-low) for 788 yards and three touchdowns (a tie for a career-low), but the New York Jets weren’t exactly the greatest team in the league last season.
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Marshall is also only one year removed from catching 109 balls for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns, so I’d say it’s safe to say that, at 32, he’s still got it in him.
He’s also a physically gifted target. At 6’4″, 230 pounds, he’d be an excellent possession receiver for Joe Flacco to target much in the same way he did Steve Smith Sr. and Anquan Boldin in the past.
Marshall’s skill would provide balance to the Ravens wide receiving corps, allowing Wallace and Perriman to be the speed guys (Perriman would work well in the slot) while Marshall works as a possession threat.
The Ravens have been theorized to be a potential landing place for Marshall, as ESPN’s Rich Cimini noted on Twitter, but there is one thing that could potentially keep the Ravens from signing Marshall, and it doesn’t have to do with his on-the-field performance.
Back in 2008, Marshall ran into some legal trouble, including a drunk driving charge and a domestic violence arrest. It’s the latter that could cause the Ravens to pause, as they’ve been very vocal about wanting nothing to do with players who have had domestic violence problems, ever since the Ray Rice debacle.
But I think Marshall is a unique case, because he has worked incredibly hard to better himself and improve his image. He’s been very public with his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, and has been a proponent of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.
His illness is no excuse for his actions, but the public work he has done on himself (including seeking treatment for his BPD), has, in my opinion, redeemed his image in a big way. I don’t think that that past should be a roadblock for him coming to Baltimore.
Brandon Marshall would be an excellent addition to the Baltimore Ravens, and I think that he would balance out the wide receiving corps in a way that will be sorely needed coming into the upcoming season. He fills one of the many holes on the Ravens easily, and allows the team to focus on its other needs.