So Miami decided to get its No.1 WR through trade, ponying up two second round draft picks (one this year, one next year) to get Brandon Marshall from the Broncos. This came after Marshall signed his one-year tender offer with the Broncos. He will make $2.5 million in 2010. Miami signed him to a four-year extension worth $47.5 million, with $24 million of that guaranteed. All in all, Marshall's new deal with Miami works out to a five year $50 million contract.
So here are my thoughts on this trade:
- I hate the timing of this deal. Let me start off by saying that I really, really, really wanted Miami to draft Dez Bryant with their first round pick. I think he will be every bit as good as Marshall and probably better. I think he will be less of a headcase than Marshall has already proven to be. I know he's younger. And I know he's cheaper. So knowing all that, why wouldn't the Dolphins wait until the first night of the draft, see if Bryant was available at #12, draft him if he was, and if not, that would be the appropriate time to make this deal.
- This deal only solidifies my thoughts that Bill Parcells has absolutely no confidence in his own ability to properly assess a first-round WR talent. Picking wide receivers in the first couple rounds of the draft has been anathema to Parcells throughout his career. He either can't or stubbornly won't do it, and that is a detriment to every team for which he presides over the draft. He is fabulous at identifying college linemen and linebacker prospects. When it comes to skill positions, it appears he is clueless. No team can take the next step without being able to groom their own skill position players. And if the cost of not being able to do just that was ever in doubt, look no further than the $5o million/two second round pick price tag that Miami just forked over for Marshall.
- I do like the fact that this acquisition finally allows Miami's other receivers to be slotted correctly on the depth chart. Brian Hartline should take over as the starting wideout opposite Marshall and Davone Bess will be able to work as just the slot receiver. Greg Camarillo will be able to slide down to the fourth spot where he will make an excellent possession receiver.
- Can there be any doubt now that the coaching staff has lost hope for Patrick Turner? What a waste of a third round pick. Another example of Parcells blowing it with an early WR pick.
- I'd rather see the team get rid of Turner than trade Ted Ginn. Ginn at least could still have value to this squad. Now that Miami finally has a dominant force at WR, Ginn's downfield skills can be fully unleashed. At the very least, Ginn would be the fourth or fifth WR, he'd see about 10-15 snaps a game solely as a downfield burner, and the team would retain his tremendous kick return abilities.
- In case you're wondering, the two second round picks (assuming that next year's pick falls in the middle of the round) are worth approximately the 20th or 21st pick in the first round of this year's draft, according to Football Outsider's adjusted draft value chart. That, in addition to his enormous contract, is a tremendously steep price to pay for a player who is one incident away from being suspended for a very long time.
Marshall led the league in dropped passes in 2007, tied for fourth most in 2008, and tied for third most last season. AKA, he drops a lot of balls.
Take a look at his yards per reception over the last three seasons: 13.0 in 2007, 12.2 in 2008, 11.0 in 2009. His yards have similarly declined: 1325, 1266, 1127.
Take a look at his last three seasons' DVOA numbers: -1.6% in 2007, -6.7% in 2008, 2.3% in 2009. He coupled that with DYARs of 148, 85, and 179. Decent enough, but hardly superstar level numbers. Then consider the fact that Marshall posted a -25.1% DVOA in the red zone last year and scored in only two of the final 12 games of the season (against Kansas City and Cleveland no less).
Basically, the metrics and his extremely troubled history leave me seriously questioning this move. I love the fact that Miami finally has a legitimate No.1 option, which helps the other WRs and Chad Henne, but it comes with the highest risk possible and a huge investment of both picks and money. I don't see how Dez Bryant wasn't the better option.
Oh yeah, just watch this video. I took pride in the fact that before this offseason, Miami pretty much had a bunch of guys you could feel good rooting for. Well, with Richie Incognito and Brandon Marshall now in the fold, that's no longer the case.