Clayton: A ‘humble’ Brandon Marshall looks to revive career in Seattle

May 31, 2018, 10:48 AM
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Brandon Marshall comes to Seattle trying to prove he can still be a viable wide receiver. (AP)

Brandon Marshall comes to the Seahawks humble and proud.

He comes proud because he’s had a great career, an almost unexpected career. He has 959 catches for 12,215 yards and 82 touchdowns. That’s a borderline Hall of Fame career. But perhaps his biggest accomplishment was conquering a borderline personality disorder.

Brandon Marshall ‘honored’ to join Seahawks

He arrived humble because, as he said, the calls for his services wasn’t great.

“Well, I didn’t have a lot of options,” Marshall said. “I think the sentiment around the league is that I’m done, and I get it.”

In other words, he comes to Seattle trying to prove he can still be a viable wide receiver. At 6-5, 232 pounds, Marshall is the type of big receiver Pete Carroll has always wanted in his offense. The Seahawks took a run at Marshall when he was a restricted free agent in 2010. Carroll said he went after Marshall hard but Marshall opted to take a four-year, $47.5 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. As it turned out, it was probably better for Carroll he didn’t get Marshall; his personal problems plagued him in Miami and during his early days in Chicago.

“When I got to Chicago, once I got through the off-field issues I had, I still wore my emotions on my sleeve and still made mistakes,” Marshall said. “Chicago taught me so much about leadership. It taught me so much about how to conduct myself in the good times and the bad times.”

Though his life is now in order, Marshall has come through a tough stretch physically. Last year, he needed ankle surgery after five games. Knowing he was going to miss the rest of the season, Marshall said he took care of a bad toe injury that had nagged him since 2015. He knew the toe surgery would have a five- to six-month recovery.

For the past month, Marshall said he’s been running pain free.

What I like about the Marshall signing for the Seahawks is that I have a good feel for him because he grew up in East Liberty, Pa., not far away from where I grew up in Braddock, Pa. Marshall told me during a training camp trip to the Bears about his East Liberty background.

Since then, he’s been open and honest to me during any interview through the years. Last year, at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, Marshall spoke in front of the NFL owners meeting about ways to improve relationships with players. According to league sources, he was the first player to speak in front of owners at an annual meeting.

I asked him about how he would adjust to his new role with the Giants. For years, Marshall was the No. 1 receiver who drew double-coverage. Going to the Giants, he would be the No. 2 to Odell Beckham Jr. Marshall, and embraced the change. He said he would get more single coverage, which would be welcome and if he did well it would work about for Beckham because it could take some coverage away from him.

Last year, I always had Marshall on my podcast, Schooled with the Professor. He related a story about how his wife was speaking to a classroom of youngsters in Seattle who had personality disorders. Marshall has spent the past seven years trying to make the country better aware of mental health illnesses. He does that through a non-profit organization he and his wife started, Project 375.

After his wife spoke, a teenage woman walked up to Marshall’s wife and a teacher and thanked them. She said she was going to commit suicide that day and showed them the drugs she was going to take. Marshall’s wife saved a life in Seattle. Now. Brandon Marshall tries to save his career here.

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Clayton: A ‘humble’ Brandon Marshall looks to revive career in Seattle