Giants Sign Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall to Pair With Odell Beckham


(Photo: Getty Images)

The New York Giants surrendered the second-fewest points in the NFL last season, riding its stingy defense to a surprising 11-5 record after consecutive 10-loss seasons.

Now imagine how good they'd be with an offense that can manage more than the seventh-fewest points in the league, which is where they finished in 2016.

The team took an enormous step toward improving that offense on Wednesday, when wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the team following his being cut by the New York Jets. He tweeted a picture of the signed document.

A season ago, the 32-year-old caught for 788 yards and three touchdowns, but did so with a broken carousel at quarterback for the Jets (on second thought, a broken carousel would be more accurate than the three-headed monster of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and Bryce Petty). The season before that, he amassed 1,502 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns.

On the field, the move alleviates the pressure placed on star wideout Odell Beckham, whose 1,367 receiving yards last season accounted for 33.9 percent of the team's production through the air, the highest mark in 2016. It will hardly solve their offensive woes, however—the Giants were 29th in the NFL in rushing yards and dead last in rushing touchdowns a season ago, a trend that will likely continue until they make vast improvements to the right side of their offensive line.

But the 11-year veteran can offer more than that: a steadying presence for Beckham, whose emotions have in the past gotten the best of him.

Marshall's early career is marked by far worse issues than anything Beckham has dealt with—including several allegations of domestic abuse.

In 2011, however, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and began receiving treatment. Since then has been a leading advocate for mental health issues as well as a model citizen.

In October, Marshall came to Beckham's defense when Giants head coach Ben McAdoo characterized one of Beckham's emotional outbursts as a distraction.

“Those guys over there need to be really careful. They don’t need to be speaking out on their teammate. They need to keep that in-house, because they can lose him,” Marshall said. “They need to rally behind him and give him the support he needs and handle that stuff in-house, whether good or bad. Because whether they like it or not, he’s the best player on that team.”