The Baltimore Ravens are by their own admission in the search for a complementary veteran receiver who can fill the void in their offense left by Steve Smith Sr.
In my humble opinion, they should look no further than the recently released Brandon Marshall, who was last with the New York Jets. Marshall reportedly requested his release from the team after a down season that saw him struggle on the field, and deal with a bit of drama off of it.
Regardless of the circumstances, the Ravens should seriously consider bringing in the veteran to round out a receiving corp that is currently constructed around several speed merchants. The 6’4” 230 pound wideout has a huge strike zone for Joe Flacco to work with, and his physicality would bring a much needed edge to an offense that lacked any identity in 2016.
The questions here are fairly obvious ones, and they have little to do with anything that's taken place in the confines of a gridiron. Marshall has a somewhat checkered history that includes certain situations involving domestic violence.
Owner Steve Bisciotti has publicly stated that the team won't pursue anyone that has such a charge in their past, citing Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill as a player who the Ravens would never have been able to acquire due to their messy handling of the Ray Rice disaster in 2014. In my opinion, not signing Marshall because of this is an insult to the work that he has done to get his act together and clean up his image.
He has since been public with his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, and while this should never be an excuse for some of the things he has been accused of, his advocacy for ending the stigma surrounding mental illness suggests that it was affecting him in many different ways. Marshall’s work in the community and in the media paint the picture of someone who has worked tirelessly into not only rehabilitate their image, but making real improvements to how they react to adversity.
Marshall is not perfect by any stretch, but he is the exact kind of player that Baltimore’s offense needs to help the team get back into the playoff picture. Here's hoping that the front office will recognize that, regardless of the mistakes that the player has made in the past.