The New York Jets and general manager Mike Maccagnan are low-hanging fruit these days, and Brandon Marshall was at the apple orchard earlier in the week.
The former All-Pro receiver was one of a number of high-profile veterans jettisoned in the offseason as the Jets began a painful reboot, with many observers throwing out the tanking word to describe what’s going on in Florham Park.
Marshall, who ultimately changed locker rooms at Met Life Stadium, moving from the Jets to the New York Giants, called the Jets’ decisions to move on from players such as fellow receiver Eric Decker and franchise great David Harris “bad business.”
You can add Marshall himself and Nick Mangold to that list, if you like, as well.
And from Marshall’s perspective, it is a poor business plan because, as a 33-year-old receiver, he had no interest in going through the motions for 16 games while waiting for the savior, be it Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold or someone else.
“I just knew I couldn’t be in that environment,” Marshall said on WFAN Radio in New York. “I think everyone knows the type of personality I am at this point in my career. I wouldn’t have made it through an entire season knowing that we didn’t have a chance. That’s all you want as a player. You just want a chance.”
That’s a very fair statement from a player’s standpoint, but Maccagnan has a different mindset, one that believes his team wasn’t ready to compete with the aforementioned veterans, at least in a meaningful way. So, what is going 6-10 or 7-9 going to accomplish for a franchise in desperate need for the answer at the game’s most important position?
It certainly would take the Jets out of the Darnold sweepstakes if the USC QB does decide to leave college early, and such a scenario would likely eliminate the opportunity to select any top-rated QB in the draft process.
It’s something NBA commissioner Adam Silver and his predecessor, David Stern, have had to struggle with for years, and the “success” of the 1-15 Cleveland Browns tank last season clearly has others around the NFL opening their minds to the idea of stripping everything down while collecting assets. Starting over from scratch may be a better route than the traditional NFL model, which is trying to rebuild while staying competitive.
So a year of Josh McCown with a little Christian Hackenberg and perhaps even some Bryce Petty it is for the Jets, and a veteran far closer to the finish line than the starting gun should want nothing to do with what’s going on, a sentiment Marshall echoed.
“Do what I did: Ask for a release, get out of there,” he said.
The lobbying didn’t have to be very extensive either, because the writing was already on the wall.
By the time the Jets are ready to compete in a meaningful way again, Marshall was not going to be a part of the picture anyway.
One’s world view matters in any situation, and “bad business” for Marshall is defined as “best for business” for Maccagnan, because the goals are completely different.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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