Over the next few weeks, I plan on doing a series of posts that do nothing more than gauge the pulse of Dolphin fans everywhere on various topics. And we'll start off today with a topic that has been discussed at length in our fanpost section: Broncos WR Brandon Marshall.
It's no secret that Dolphin fans want their team to upgrade at the receiver position. There's some very good depth there and there are some very good complimentary receivers on the roster. But for the unit to be as effective as possible, the Dolphins need a true number one receiver.
Marshall, meanwhile, has had some rocky times in Denver over the past 12 months. And that might make him available in a trade. In fact, Marshall not only cleaned out his locker in Denver after their season came to an end; he even took his nameplate from his locker.
Before you vote on if you'd like to see the Dolphins make a play for Marshall, though, please consider the following pros and cons:
At 6'4, 230 pounds, Brandon Marshall is exactly the kind of big-time play-making receiver that the Dolphins currently lack and very much need. Simply put, the man produces when he's on the field. After his 20 catch rookie season, Marshall has caught at least 101 passes in three consecutive seasons, averaging over 1200 yards in that span. Marshall also saw his touchdown output increase in 2009 despite his strong-armed quarterback - Jay Cutler - being sent to Chicago last offseason. His 10 touchdowns in '09 ranked 7th in the entire league.
Marshall will be just 26 years old in March and has missed just three games in four seasons in Denver. Simply put, Brandon has all the physical tools you look for in a receiver. He's big, fast, strong, and possesses great hands.
Unfortunately, like most elite receivers, Marshall would come to Miami with a lot of baggage. Even before this season, Brandon has had his share of issues. In college, records indicate that Marshall was arrested in Orlando on charges of assault of a law enforcement official, refusal to obey, and disorderly conduct. Then in March of 2007, just two months after being involved in an altercation that resulted in the murder of teammate Darrent Williams (may he rest in peace), Marshall was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence following a claim from his girlfriend. Charges were dropped, though, after Marshall completed an anger management class.
In October of 2007, Marshall was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Rather than go to trial, he plead guilty to a lesser charge. In March if 2008, Marshall was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. While he was found not guilty, the NFL did suspend Marshall for three games. After an appeal, his suspension was reduced to one game. Then in March of 2009, Marshall was arrested for disorderly conduct following a dispute with his fiance. Charges were dropped.
And all of this leaves out that odd story where Marshall supposedly slipped on a McDonald's bag while wrestling with family members - resulting in Brandon falling through a television set. Then, of course, is the issues Marshall had in 2009 on the field with the Broncos. He acted like a child during practice before the season, running through drills in half speed and deliberately knocking down passes thrown to him rather than catching them. By the end of the year, head coach Josh McDaniels benched Marshall for the final game after he reportedly was late to a physical therapy session (and I bet there's more to this story).
Marshall will also be a restricted free agent this offseason. It's expected that Denver will put the highest tender offer on him, forcing teams that sign him to an offer sheet to surrender both a 1st and 3rd round draft pick back to Denver. Of course, the Broncos will likely entertain trade offers as soon as possible even before the "tender offer deadline."
So while Brandon Marshall clearly has all the physical tools you want in a receiver, is he worth the risk? If so, at what price? Vote below and then feel free to explain.