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East Bound and Down: Brandon Marshall traded to the Jets

Marshall

 

After the departure of Marc Trestman from the Chicago Bears earlier this off-season, there has been some speculation the team would also part ways with veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall. That speculation became reality today as the Bears dealt Marshall to the wide receiver needy New York Jets for a late round pick.

Marshall went through a very rough period early in his career as he battled off field problems including mental illness, but he has been able to overcome those issues to become one of the most dominant receivers in the game. However, with the arrival of new head coach John Fox to Chicago, it was clearly time for a change.

Marshall will now suit up for his fourth NFL team, following stints with the Broncos, Dolphins and Bears, and he always seems to bring less in return than you might expect. When the Broncos surprisingly dealt him to the Miami Dolphins at the beginning of his prime, they received just two second round picks. Two years later, the Dolphins sent him packing for a pair of third round picks. Now, after three seasons in Chicago, the Bears were reportedly only asking for a fifth round pick in exchange for Marshall.

As for Marshall’s dynasty value, he’d been trending down over the past few months, something that should not come as a surprise considering his age, but I expect that trend to continue with him now being on one of the worst teams in the league. Here’s a look at Marshall’s dynasty ADP over the past two years:

MarshallADP

 

Anytime a player of this magnitude is dealt, as we saw earlier this week with the LeSean McCoy trade, there are major ripple effects with all players involved on both teams. Here’s how the deal could impact the fantasy futures of players on both the Jets and Bears.

Bears

Jay Cutler, QB

It’s not only Marshall’s name who has been rumored to be available in trade, but starting quarterback Jay Cutler as well, so it may be futile to address how the loss of al All-Pro receiver hurts, but it clearly would not be a good thing. Marshall has had a long-time relationship with Cutler back to their Denver days and has always been his favorite target. If Cutler does stay in Chicago, the loss of Marshall and the new offensive system the Bears will employ will greatly hurt Cutler’s dynasty value, which is only added onto the fact he was benched late in the 2014 season. He’s a low end QB2 with QB1 upside, but not a player I’d want to rely on in dynasty leagues, or in the NFL.

Alshon Jeffery, WR

Despite the consistent excellence displayed on the field by Marshall, Alshon Jeffery has been the team’s best wide receiver the past two seasons, following a quiet rookie year. This team belongs to Jeffery now and his first round ADP shows that dynasty owners believe in him. I still think the loss of Trestman and the potential loss of the gunslinger Cutler could hurt Jeffery’s production a bit, but he is a very safe player, no matter the situation.

Marquess Wilson, WR

Dynasty owners and the Bears were ready for a breakout season from Marquess Wilson a year ago before a pre-season injury derailed those plans. Wilson did finally return to the field the latter portion of the season, but was not a major part of the Bears’ game plan on a weekly basis. He will get his shot now and expect him to be one of the hottest names mentioned around the dynasty water cooler as a result of this deal. We always try to connect the dots as to who wins and loses from major transactions like this and the expected increased playing time he will receive makes Wilson the winner. The Bears have little depth behind Jeffery and Wilson, so expect them to be a player for a receiver in both the free agent and draft.

Jets

Eric Decker, WR

In his first season in New York, another former Bronco, Eric Decker, had a relatively quiet season, though he ended up as a WR3. Decker was not the touchdown threat he had been in Denver, which has plenty to do the general quality of the offense and quarterback play. Not only was Decker more of a fantasy star in Denver because of his touchdown production, but also because he got to play the sidekick role to Demaryius Thomas. I expect he’ll again play second fiddle to Marshall, at least for the 2015 season, which will actually be a good thing for both players. Now, if they could just figure out the quarterback spot.

Geno Smith, QB

Two years into his career, I think the Jets have decided Geno Smith is not the long-term answer at the position. Unfortunately, they have few other options, Smith even lost his job at points in the 2014 season to veteran Michael Vick, who is now a free agent. There are almost no quality quarterbacks available via free agency, as we’ve seen with veterans like Josh McCown and Matt Cassel suddenly becoming in-demand assets. There are only a pair of quality quarterbacks available in the NFL Draft (according to most analysts) and one of those is expected to be selected with the first overall pick. In the end, chances are good that Smith is the Week One starter for the Jets and the addition of a player like Marshall could have a huge impact on his game. Smith is not a player I will be investing in greatly, but in both new and existing leagues, he’s basically free, so there is little risk in rostering him.

Amari Cooper, DeVante Parker and Kevin White, WRs

Despite their need at quarterback, nearly every mock draft you read has projected the Jets to select one of the trio of rookie wide receivers, Amari Cooper, DeVante Parker or Kevin White. While the move to the Jets hurts the stock of a veteran like Marshall, it could have absolutely destroyed the hopes of one of these NFL newcomers. It’s now likely the Jets spend that early draft pick on a quarterback or other area of need and we can hold out hope each of these talented receivers end up in a location that will allow them to maintain their already lofty dynasty value.

Percy Harvin, WR

I’ve already mentioned the need the Jets have had at the receiver position, and this is clearly something they understand. They followed up last off-season’s signing of Decker by trading for Percy Harvin during the 2014 season. Harvin had worn out his welcome in Seattle and the Jets were willing to take a risk to inject some talent into their lackluster offense.

Harvin had almost no impact on the Jets and recent reports say he will be released soon – this becomes a safe assumption given today’s trade. Harvin is one of the most electric players in the game, though injuries have derailed his promising career. His believers continue to tell themselves that he just hasn’t been used correctly, but like Marshall, he’s made the rounds with multiple NFL teams. If he is released though, this will be Harvin’s first chance to choose his destination, following trades to Seattle and New York. I am not a huge fan of Harvin’s game, but I am eager to see which teams show interest in him and who he ultimately chooses to sign with. This could be his last chance to prove his talent translates to the league.

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Ryan McDowell
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6 years ago

Thank you for the quick and thorough analysis. One question: doesn’t this actually HELP the value of the rookie WRs? Now they’re likely NOT going to the Jets, which, I think, would have been a terrible landing-spot for them given that offense and team.

Jeff Haverlack
Reply to  Moishe
6 years ago

I’ll chime in with my view.

It all depends on how you evaluate drafted situation. I, myself, will consider situation depending on the talent of the player heading to the situation. A borderline player heading to the Jets is a cause of concern to me given receiver production and quarterback play.

But rather than say this move raises the value of the rookie receivers, I would rather be more rookie-centric individually and evaluate their draft situations following the NFL draft. To me, Mariota was just as likely with the pick as was a high profile rookie. If you are talking simply Amari Cooper or Kevin White, the removal (in all likelihood) of the Jets as a potential landing spot does bode better for their stock values, but it is a bit subjective as other poor teams are likely to be adding them.

Pick your poison. In the end, I’m a talent over situation coach but I include all variables in the equation for analysis.

Ryan McDowell
Reply to  Moishe
6 years ago

I definitely think it raises the value. I must not have worded that very well. I think ending up in NY would have been terrible for the value of any of the 3, while a veteran like Marshall, can sustain that a little better.

Sal
6 years ago

Uh, Harvin’s already proven his talent translate in the NFL. Injuries, other than the hip tear, haven’t derailed his career at all. This is just more platitude-filled armchair analysis v.s. anything anyone doesn’t already know.

Jeff Haverlack
Reply to  Sal
6 years ago

I don’t completely disagree with your assessment other than to say there are plenty of situations where players’ talents translate to the NFL but their character, injury status or other factors limit their stock value. Harvin is such a player. His talents are as dynamic as any receiver, but his attitude and locker room antics are toxic.

I’d also argue that with Harvin, his early career migraine issues, which are now said to be under control have been a contributing factor. His hip issue was more production impactful but when evaluating Harvin’s career fantasy production, he’s been far from the model of consistency.

As far as your armchair analysis statement, this is a fantasy article about Brandon Marshall and the ripple effects from his trade. Each reader can make his own judgment as to the impact and choose to use or dismiss the analysis as they see fit.

Jay Daily
Reply to  Sal
6 years ago

2011 was a pretty good year. It’s also the only season in which Harvin has played 16 games. 87 grabs for nearly 1,000 yards to go with 345 on the ground and 2 TD’s. He also added a kick return TD. Good numbers, and no argument that for one season he was fantastic.

But since he’s only played in 23 of 67 possible games in the last three years I’d say injuries have derailed his career. That, and his last two employers have been eager to show him the door because he’s a major pain-in-the ass and severely overpaid. Not exactly someone I want to hang my fantasy fortunes on, but good luck if you still believe.

Ryan McDowell
Reply to  Sal
6 years ago

We don’t always know what is going on in the locker room and behind the scenes, I was shocked when the Vikings dealt Harvin and almost equally surprised when the Seahawks, known for being one of the most well-run teams, dumped him so quickly.

What we do know is Harvin, because of injuries among other things, hasn’t really made an impact in the league, or in our fantasy leagues, in a couple of years.

Big B
6 years ago

I have been holding out hope Marshall would get healthy and return to form for another year in Chicago w/ Cutler. Given this trade do you feel it drops him from the WR2 to the WR3 tier? I currently own Thomas, Marshall, Floyd, White, Hunter, LaFell, Adams & Britt, along w/ the 1.02 & 1.04. This trade muddies the waters w/ the weekly lineup IMO. What do you feel his trade value is at this point? Would Marshall & the 1.04 be enough in your mind to secure the 1.01 in order to grab Gurley and whichever WR lands in the best situation?

brodiespam
Reply to  Big B
6 years ago

If the was bad enough to earn the 1.01, its hard to imagine Marshall is a piece they would have a lot of use for as an aging WR.

Alden
Reply to  brodiespam
6 years ago

You guys don’t have a clue, if you want to trade Marshall to me for a mid round pick , ill take that any day of the week and twice on sunday.

Jon
Reply to  Alden
6 years ago

? Huh ? Alden, just where did you get that from?

Daphud
6 years ago

It’s not stated in the article, but Martellus Bennett also gets a boost from Marshall leaving. Bennett was already soaking up a bunch of targets with Marshall there.

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