Bob Glauber has been Newsday's national football columnist since 1992. He was Newsday's football writer covering the Jets Show More
Mike Maccagnan vowed to be aggressive in his first offseason as Jets general manager, and he already is living up to that promise.
He made a bold move to improve the team's receiving corps by trading for Brandon Marshall.
Good player. Reasonable contract. Minimal compensation.
Good move by Maccagnan.
Marshall, who turns 31 on March 23, is coming off a down year in Chicago because of injury problems coupled with quarterback Jay Cutler's issues with the passing game under Marc Trestman, who was fired after the season. But the 6-4, 229-pound Marshall already is the best receiver on the Jets' roster, which also includes Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and -- for now -- Percy Harvin.
The Jets in all likelihood will dump Harvin, the oft-injured wideout whose $10.5-million salary is $3 million higher than Marshall's. Harvin was worth a gamble in a trade with the Seahawks last year, and he did show some flashes on the field while playing the good soldier off it. But he also dinged his ankle and had only two 100-yard receiving games in his eight games with the Jets.
Some of Harvin's paltry numbers can be traced to quarterback issues with both Geno Smith and Michael Vick, but Harvin was no more of a deep threat with those two passers than he was with Russell Wilson, who has played in the last two Super Bowls.
Assuming Marshall passes his physical and the trade becomes official when the league year opens Tuesday, the Jets will have upgraded the position significantly. Marshall had seven straight seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards from 2007-13, and in his first two years with the Bears, he totaled a whopping 218 catches for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Marshall had some well-publicized off-field issues during his days with the Broncos and Dolphins, problems that included domestic violence and a diagnosis in 2011 of borderline personality disorder. He had no off-field issues during his time with the Bears and has become a thoughtful and outspoken supporter of people dealing with psychological problems.
The Jets have had their share of issues with wide receivers causing locker-room distractions -- see: Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards -- but they hope Marshall won't fall into that pattern.
No guarantees, of course, but Marshall has the endorsement of first-year coach Todd Bowles. The two were together in Miami when Bowles was the Dolphins' secondary coach and interim head coach and Marshall was a big-time receiver beginning to come to terms with his off-field issues.
There's no way Maccagnan would have made this deal unless Bowles was comfortable with it, so the coach clearly is willing to take a calculated risk that Marshall will be a positive influence on and off the field.
The Jets are expected to attempt to trade Harvin, although it's tough to see anyone lining up to surrender draft-choice compensation and inherit Harvin's bloated contract. The more likely scenario is that the Jets release Harvin before March 19 and owe the Seahawks a sixth-round draft pick.
If he's still on the roster, it's a fourth-round pick.
Do the math.
It makes little sense to keep Harvin, especially with the upcoming draft rich with wide receivers for a second straight year.
The Jets own the sixth pick and have a huge need at cornerback, although Maccagnan is likely to go with the best player available, even if it's another receiver. After all, even with Marshall on the roster, if you have a chance to get Alabama's Amari Cooper, West Virginia's Kevin White or Louisville's DeVante Parker, you build up the position. Especially in a league in which you can't have too many receivers.
Of course, if the Jets have a chance to land Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, that's even better. Those decisions will sort themselves out on draft day next month. For now, they have become a better team with Maccagnan's first move. Plenty more to come.