B-Marsh has been a dominant receiver for eleven seasons in the NFL. 2016 was a season plagued with injuries and limited production for Marshall as he only hauled in 59 receptions, 788 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Marshall asked for and was granted his release from the New York Jets. After his release, Marshall changed his Instagram profile picture to the Lombardi Trophy. It is believed that at age 32, the six-time Pro Bowler would like to play for a contender.
Marshall seems to fit the mold of what the Bengals look for in a potential free agent, but there are some differences. The Bengals typically shy away from older wide receivers unless they still have good field speed, which Marshall still seems to have. A union with Marshall would heavily depend on the type of money he is looking for on the market. Marshall’s contract with the Jets paid him up to$9 million per year at one point, a figure the Bengals obviously wouldn’t match.
Marshall would also have to be willing to mentor a young receiving core. Marshall showed his willingness to mentor a younger receiver with Quincy Enunwa during his time in New York. Enunwa had himself a breakout season in 2016 and caught 7 receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. Brandon LaFell played a similar mentor role last season.
Teams such as the Patriots, Cowboys, Seahawks, Panthers and Chiefs would have to hold Marshall’s favor over the Bengals. Another negative factor reducing the chances of a union is the fact the Pittsburgh native appears to want to play for the hated rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. On the show Inside the NFL, Marshall stated, “Man, I’m from Pittsburgh, and I’m a Steelers fan“. “You guys know how it is being a Steelers fan. It’s in our blood.” That doesn’t sound like a guy who would be welcomed in Who Dey Nation. Pittsburgh would make sense for Marshall because the Squeelers have the 4th best odds for a 2018 Super Bowl appearance.
With all factors considered, the Bengals chances at landing Marshall are somewhat slim, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. The Bengals may be better off re-signing Brandon LaFell and/or drafting a younger player that could potentially turn into the next Brandon Marshall in the upcoming NFL Draft.