After being released by the Seattle Seahawks following weeks of dwindling playing time, the 34-year-old wideout understands observers question his ability.
“No, I’m done. I’m washed up,” he said coyly, via ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “What my film says this year is what it is.”
The film shows a veteran receiver who rarely created separation in Seattle and suffered some drops. After opening the season playing 36-plus snaps in each of the first three games, Marshall played just 31 total snaps in his final three games with the Seahawks, getting passed on the depth chart buy sprier options. On the season, he compiled just 11 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown.
Marshall attributed some of those struggles to injuries. An ankle injury ended his 2017 campaign prematurely, then he underwent toe surgery, and dealt with a hamstring issue this offseason.
Marshall said this week he’s “fit as a fiddle” and “healthy as a trout” after signing with the New Orleans Saints.
Joining Drew Brees, Marshall knows he doesn’t have to be a world-beater, but simply play a complementary role.
“I’ve spent most of my career as the guy on top, All-Pro, Pro Bowl guy … and I’m at the bottom right now,” said Marshall. “I got an amazing opportunity to go to the Seahawks. That was an amazing experience. I just wasn’t healthy enough. So when you’re on the other side of 30 and you don’t produce, this is the situation you’ll find yourself in. So I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity, and I love playing football, and it’s something I want to continue to do.”
The Saints added Marshall after Dez Bryant suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Sean Payton’s squad has been searching for a veteran receiver to be a fourth or fifth option in the offense and take some pressure off All-World wideout Michael Thomas.
With New Orleans streaking towards the playoffs, sticking with the Saints down the stretch would allow Marshall his first taste of postseason action a 13-year career. Payton said the Saints would take it one game at a time after the initial adjustment period.
“He’s pretty smart. I don’t think that’s gonna be [a problem].” Payton said of Marshall picking up the offense. “He’s had it now for 24 hours, and I feel like he has two positions. It’s one of his strengths.
“This’ll give us a chance to see where he’s at, and week by week take a peek and try to evaluate his skill set to see where and if it fits what we’re doing.”
If Marshall doesn’t perform better, or can’t stay as fit as a freshwater fish, the Saints could send him back to the free-agent sea.