Did Brandon Marshall ‘Choose’ the Jets Because of Geno Smith?

By Vincent Frank
Jun 9, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during New York Jets minicamp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall had some say in where he ended up when the Chicago Bears were discussing trade possibilities with other teams during the spring. That in and of itself isn’t too surprising.

What’s shocking here is that Marshall opted to go to the Jets in large part because of the presence of Geno Smith on the roster. Yes, that Geno Smith.

Per NFL Media’s┬áJudy Battista:

“Marshall handpicked the Jets as his fourth team earlier this year, when the Bears hired a new general manager (Ryan Pace) and a new head coach (John Fox) and it was clear that Marshall’s time in Chicago was up. The five-time Pro Bowler went shopping, calling quarterbacks of teams he thought could use his services.”

How in the world Marshall came to the conclusion that Smith would be the best quarterback for him is beyond belief. Pure conjecture here, but there was likely a decent market for the veteran’s services. And if that was the case, there’s a strong likelihood that one of those other teams interested in him boast a better signal caller than the Jets second-round pick from 2013.

When he wasn’t benched in favor of current free agent Michael Vick last season, Smith was among the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. In 14 games (13 starts), the former West Virginia standout completed less than 60 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a substandard 77.5 rating.

He also averaged 180.4 passing yards and finished as Pro Football Focus’ 36th-ranked quarterback out of 39 qualified players at that position (subscription required).

I guess it’s safe to say Smith needs all the help he can get. Does this mean that Marshall was doing his new teammate a solid by wanting to join an offense that was among the worst in the league last year? The veteran receiver obviously doesn’t see it that way:

“I was really shocked at the intelligence, how smart he was,” Marshall said of his new quarterback. “I had known him as a player from afar. I didn’t know his football IQ was so high. He had crazy passion. When I talked to him, I fell in love with the conversation. I said, this is a real opportunity, we have a great defense, great pieces on offense. If we can come together and gel, we may not be the best in Year 1, but if we can be effective and not turn over the ball, we can be in every game.”

If Smith is actually able to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting gig, it appears he’s going to have a favorite receiver to throw the ball to. No matter how ridiculous it may seem that Marshall chose the Jets in large part due to Smith, the two obviously have a solid working relationship. That can only help a revamped Jets offense improve off of a disastrous past couple seasons.

Photo: USA Today Sports