INDIANAPOLIS — Could Brandon Marshall and Bill Belichick join forces this offseason?
According to The Boston Globe, there’s “mutual interest” between the former Jets receiver and the Jets’ biggest rival, the New England Patriots.
Marshall’s two-year stint with the Jets ended this past week when they granted his request to be released, a source told Newsday on Thursday night. But it didn’t take long for him to find a potential suitor.
Though Marshall publicly had expressed a desire to return to the Jets in 2017, he made it known that reaching the postseason is paramount.
“I’ll probably play until I’m 38, 39,” the 11-year veteran, who has never made the playoffs with any of his four teams, said after the Jets’ final 2016 game. “I made that decision this year . . . . I love this game . . . It’s not about the money anymore. It’s all about winning.
“ . . . I’ll play for free. My bills are paid,” added Marshall, who set the Jets’ single-season records for catches (109), yards (1,502) and touchdowns (14) in 2015. “I’m tired of watching the playoffs on my couch. It’s been a frustrating year. It’s been a frustrating career.”
It’s easy to see why the Patriots would be an attractive option for Marshall, who will turn 33 on March 23. The defending Super Bowl champions not only are coached by one of the greatest football minds in the game in Belichick but are led by a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Tom Brady. If Marshall were to be signed by the Patriots, he’d have a much better chance of earning a ring, let alone making the playoffs.
The Jets, meanwhile, are in the midst of a total roster overhaul. With Marshall no longer a member of the team, Eric Decker stands alone as a star wide receiver. But for how long?
General manager Mike Maccagnan purposely was vague about Decker’s future with the Jets and whether he’ll be ready for the regular season. He is coming off surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder and a torn labrum in his hip.
“Eric is making good progress,” Maccagnan said Thursday. “ . . . It’s the shoulder which is the part I think he’s still about a few months away. I know he can run straight ahead right now.
“I think he should be able to compete in most of the OTAs, maybe some non-contact stuff. When we go into training camp, we may restrict him a little bit, just to make sure he’s good and ready to go. But he’s been making good progress and he should be fine, I think. I anticipate him being ready to start the season, unless there’s a setback that we’re not aware of.”
The Jets could opt to release Decker after he finishes his rehab. Doing so would save them $7.5 million in cap space. But Maccagnan refused to show his hand.
Asked if he expects Decker to be in a Jets uniform in 2017, Maccagnan said: “Right now, Eric is under contract. Our goal is to get him healthy and then kind of evaluate how he comes back off the injuries and go from there.”