Do the Miami Dolphins regret sending two second round picks to Denver in exchange for wide receiver Brandon Marshall?
I'd be lying if I said this question hasn't crossed my mind, particularly ever since Marshall was stabbed with a kitchen knife in his abdomen by his own wife. It's not that it's Marshall's fault he was stabbed. Based on the details we know at the moment, Brandon is nothing more than the victim. But it fits the disturbing pattern that has plagued Marshall's personal life - a pattern of numerous domestic disturbances that has essentially put Brandon one strike away from a full season-long suspension by the NFL.
With that said, I've never actually publicly pondered this question before because there wasn't a real reason to entertain the thought publicly. That is, until Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote the following when responding to a question about the price Atlanta paid to trade up in the draft to select receiver Julio Jones:
But I can tell you this right now: Miami would rather have two second-round picks and the $10 million a year it's paying for Marshall back instead of having Marshall on the team.
It's unclear if King actually has any inside information on the subject or is simply speculating based on the historically conservative nature of Miami's front office and the obvious concern this regime has about the huge investment they made in their "alpha receiver" and the off-the-field troubles that he just can't seem to shake.
Of course, these non-football related concerns that both the team and the fans have about their star receiver are to be expected and are warranted. What I can't seem to understand, though, is the on-field criticism that some people seem to have of Marshall. Was his 2010 season what we were all hoping for in terms of production? Of course not. But what it a bad season? Absolutely not.
In fact, outside of Brandon's total number of receptions and touchdown production, his season was pretty much on par for what he has done throughout his NFL career. His 72 yards per game average was just 2 yards fewer than 2009. His 11.8 yards-per-reception average was actually higher than his 2009 figure and less than a half a yard less than 2008. And his four 100+ yard receiving games matches his single-season career high.
In his 14 games played in '10, Marshall averaged 6.14 receptions per game. In his final three seasons in Denver, Marshall averaged 6.67 receptions per game.
As you can see, Brandon's production really wasn't that far off from his career averages. This despite getting marginal, at best, quarterback play and being constrained by an offense that didn't support Marshall's abilities.
It's probably a safe assumption that the 2010 season will likely be Marshall's worst as a member of the Dolphins. He's now 27 and entering his prime and will get to play in an offense designed by new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll that should prove to be more effective than Dan Henning's tired offensive system.
That is, assuming Marshall can stay out of trouble off the field - which brings me to my final question.
Had the Dolphins not have made that deal for Marshall a year ago, would they be willing to make that trade today?