ESPN's John Clayton named the Giants signing of WR Brandon Marshall his favorite offseason move:
Eli Manning may have benefitted from the Brandon Marshall signing the most, but he wasn't the only one who liked the acquisition by general manager Jerry Reese.
In a recent column for ESPN.com, senior NFL writer John Clayton named it as his favorite move of this year's free-agency period, which opened a little less than a month ago. Marshall, who is second among active players with 12,061 receiving yards and third in both receptions (941) and touchdown catches (82), will team up with the likes of three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard to create one of the best receiving corps in the league.
"Marshall explained it best on the Monday of the NFL owners meetings. By going to the Giants as a No. 2 wide receiver, Marshall believes he and Odell Beckham Jr. will both improve their numbers," Clayton wrote. "Marshall said he has been double-teamed for years as a No. 1 receiver, and he'll now get more chances against lesser cornerbacks. Beckham has 288 receptions in three years with a 14.3-yard average. Marshall has had six 100-plus-catch seasons in his career but posted just 59 last season. If Beckham is doubled, Marshall has a better chance to get open, and the more he is involved, the more he takes coverage away from Beckham. It's a win-win for the Giants."
From the day he signed, Marshall voiced his willingness to be the second option behind Beckham in order to free up the offense.
"It was all about a championship," Marshall recently said on The Rich Eisen Show. "I just wanted to be in a championship environment. I wanted to go out the right way. I want to go out a winner. I thought that the No. 1 thing I needed, obviously, was a quarterback. No. 2, a defense. No. 3, a stability in the organization. No. 4, I wanted to be a No. 2 receiver."
Marshall added, "I think that one of the most successful formulas out there when it comes to a championship is having an offense that has so many weapons. You have a dominant receiver on one side and a dominant receiver on the other side. When you have that, it opens up the running game. It's easier for the offensive coordinator to see what the defensive coordinators are trying to do. It's easier for him to call the plays, easier for the quarterback to see the field. … My whole career, I've always had the No. 1 corner, teams rolling to me, doubling me, vising me in the red zone. So this is going to be really good for the New York Football Giants."
Other moves that Clayton liked: WR DeSean Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; DT Dontari Poe to the Atlanta Falcons; OT Rick Wagner and OG T.J. Lang to the Detroit Lions; CB A.J. Bouye and S Barry Church to the Jacksonville Jaguars; RB Eddie Lacy to the Seattle Seahawks; OLB Connor Barwin to the Los Angeles Rams; WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles.