Instant Analysis: The Marshall Trade

Now that the Brandon Marshall trade has been confirmed by both the Dolphins and the Broncos, we can dive into all the ramifications. And there are quite a few, from how the move affects the draft, what happens at wide receiver for the Dolphins, and the all-important question of whether Miami will regret bringing in a player with a checkered past.

We'll get the obvious out of the way first, which is to say that the Dolphins aren't picking a wide receiver with the 12th overall selection after making this deal.

But the truth is the Dolphins more than likely wouldn't have done that anyway because Bill Parcells teams just don't pick wide receivers in the first round.

Sure, you can point to Terry Glenn in New England, but that wasn't Parcells' choice. The Parcells blueprint calls for drafting for defense or for offensive linemen.

That means that this year you can look for the Dolphins to go after a defensive player, with the top priorities still being a nose tackle, an outside linebacker or a free safety.

As for the Dolphins wide receiver corps, a report came out Tuesday suggesting the team was looking to trade Ted Ginn Jr. Not exactly a revelation there.

The big issue is whether the Dolphins can get anything in return and whether they'd have to send his family, too, if they trade him to Baltimore to reunite him with Cam Cameron.

The suggestion that Marshall's arrival means the end of Ginn has a flaw in it because Marshall doesn't play the same role as Ginn. If Ginn is kept, it's because he's still the one home-run threat the Dolphins have and he also can break a long kick return from time to time.

Make no mistake about Marshall, he's put up gaudy numbers as an NFL wide receiver, but he's not a deep threat, per se. What he does well -- make that very well -- is break tackles and gain yards after the catch. He's also tremendous on third downs and in the red zone.

The truth is that in style he's similar to both Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo, except he's bigger, he's faster and he's better.

Marshall is that No. 1 wide receiver the Dolphins have been lacking for the past several years and he'll instantly make his receiving partners better, not to mention Chad Henne. Marshall also should help the running game because teams now will have to show some respect to the passing attack.

Marshall's arrival also could mean we'll be seeing less and less of the Wildcat, especially with Ronnie Brown reportedly on the trading block.

Let's face it, the reason the Dolphins went to the Wildcat in the first place was to compensate for their lack of weapons on offense. The need might not be there anymore if Marshall produces the way he should.

That also could mean bad news for Pat White, but that's another story for another time.

But all of this is based on the idea that Marshall doesn't run into problems in Miami, and that's a legitimate concern based on his past.

It's also fair to wonder whether Marshall will be affected by getting a new contract, as in not play as hard now that he's gotten his money.

Marshall also has been suspended once by the NFL for off-the-field issues and another incident would result in a longer suspension. That also has to be considered a concern.

Let's face it, there's a reason the Broncos were willing to part with a player who's got such immense talent. And giving up two second-round picks as well as a ton of guaranteed money to get Marshall locked up for the next five years was pricey.

But the Dolphins badly needed a playmaker on offense and they got their playmaker.

Is their risk involved in this move? Absolutely. But, like they say, no guts, no glory.


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