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9 Takeaways from the Brandon Marshall Trade


  • Talking real football for a minute, this trade actually seems to make some sense for the Jets. They gave up a fifth round pick in exchange for Marshall. Marshall will be making reasonable money in 2015 (about $7.5 million) and the Jets could get away from him after that. If Marshall is getting nearer to being washed up, then the long term implications for the Jets aren’t dire.
  • Marshall is getting up there in age but is only a year older than Calvin Johnson. Perhaps more troubling is that Marshall has had some chronic hip problems. I wouldn’t be any more surprised to see Marshall’s 2015 season heavily impacted by injury than I would be to see him turn in a top 18 WR season. He has to pass a physical, but Percy Harvin always manages to pass physicals, so there’s that.
  • This trade is actually probably good for Percy Harvin because he’s probably being released. There weren’t many worse spots for him. He either needs to be in an offense that can create a ton of space, or he needs to be in an offense that will shoehorn targets his way. Neither was true of NYJ.
  • Could this trade be bad for Eric Decker? Maybe. It kind of depends really. I don’t think it was realistic that the Jets would just run out the same version of last year’s offense with no additions. So he was going to be competing for targets with someone. He also didn’t actually have a ton of targets last year. Just being involved in a more stable offense could be a positive for Decker.
  • Could this trade be good for Geno Smith? Maybe. Although it’s doubtful. I have a tough time thinking that the Jets will go into the season with just Geno. More likely would be that they draft or sign a QB. If they do either it just makes Geno’s situation tenuous. Conditional on getting a healthy Brandon Marshall for 14+ games I would expect an improved Jets offense. I just don’t know if Geno will be at the helm.

Some additional thoughts based on some data from the apps and my database:

Chan Gailey has been slightly run heavy during his times as a coordinator and head coach. But I want to stress just slightly run heavy. The great thing is that the targets go heavily in the direction of WRs. Here’s a table that shows Pass Tendency, which is a number created by adjusting for game situation, along with relative percentages of passes thrown to each position. The numbers are all relative to league average.

MIA 2000 Chan Gailey Offensive Coordinator 0.06 -0.09 0.03 -0.08
MIA 2001 Chan Gailey Offensive Coordinator -0.02 -0.07 0.09 -0.06
KC 2008 Chan Gailey Offensive Coordinator -0.05 0.11 -0.06 0.02
BUF 2010 Chan Gailey Head Coach -0.01 -0.16 0.16 -0.01
BUF 2011 Chan Gailey Head Coach 0.02 -0.11 0.09 0.02
BUF 2012 Chan Gailey Head Coach 0.03 -0.06 0.03 -0.03
AVE 0.01 -0.06 0.06 -0.03

In some ways Brandon Marshall’s average draft position of about WR 18 seems cheap. Over his career he was actually efficient playing with some of the more underwhelming “barely starting QB material” signal callers in the league. In fact, Jay Cutler’s real impact on Marshall was volume. Cutler probably locked into Marshall to his own detriment.


But then if you look at Marshall’s ADP relative to other WRs who had similar accomplishments last year, it doesn’t look that great. Marshall’s 2015 season was impacted by injury, so he gets something of a pass. But I’m also always a little uncomfortable about giving passes to guys who are getting older and have a chronic issue, which Marshall has with his hip.



If Marshall’s ADP falls into the WR25 range, as it could with the downgrade in situation, he probably represents a compelling value. I can’t imagine Brandon Marshall getting fewer than 130 targets, a number which other players in that WR25 range might struggle to see. We’ll take a look at this assumption through the use of the Projection Machine at some point.

Positional ADP (WR18-WR30)



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