Brandon Marshall, without question one of the five best receivers in football, got shipped from Denver to Miami this morning. The AFC East is stacked.
So the AFC East is stacked, and should challenge the NFC East as the best division in football. The Patriots, Dolphins and Jets all have the talent to win 10+ games.
* The Patriots, who will probably have to survive without Wes Welker for a month, have four of the first 53 picks in the draft.
* The Jets are coming off a run to the AFC Championship game (with a rookie QB!) and added a one-time pro bowl CB in Antonio Cromartie, a Hall of Famer (albeit past his prime) in LaDainian Tomlinson, and a Super Bowl MVP in WR Santonio Holmes.
* The Dolphins will return a healthy Ronnie Brown, promising QB Chad Henne, and now add Marshall, a brilliant but troubled wide receiver.
Tough to predict the order of how they’ll finish – schedules are due out this week, though – but all three play the AFC North and NFC North. The two other games each team will play:
New England: vs. Indianapolis Colts, at San Diego Chargers
Miami: vs. Tennessee Titans, at Oakland Raiders
New York Jets: vs. Houston Texans, at Denver Broncos
Other Marshall-Miami-Parcells talking points include …
* Bill Parcells had to deal with Terrell Owens in Dallas. Marshall’s been in more trouble with the law, but could he be less of a headache?
* Last meeting between the best CB in the league, Darrelle Revis, and Marshall: 6 catches, 55 yards. But that was in 2008, and we don’t recall the game vividly enough to know whether or not they matched up on every play.
* Even with Marshall, the Dolphins will still only have the third best WR corps in the division: Holmes/Edwards/Cotchery, Moss/Welker/Edelman, Marshall/Camarillo/Hartline.
As for Denver … Brady Quinn can’t be happy. He left a terrible WR situation in Cleveland (his best target, Edwards, was dealt last year), and now before he even gets a chance in Denver, his best WR is dealt. (Are we getting ahead of ourselves with Quinn ahead of Orton? Perhaps. We think at some point between August and October, Quinn steals the job.) The Broncos have picks 11, 43, and 45 in the draft. Could they use that first one on Dez Bryant, swapping one problem-ridden receiver for another? Or do they wait until the 2nd round and hope that Golden Tate of Notre Dame or Arrelious Benn of Illinois are around? It seems more and more like a lot of teams have fallen in love with Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas, and he won’t be there in the 40s. Is Brandon LaFell of LSU a 2nd rounder? Probably not.
Say this about Josh McDaniels – the man does a good job of clearing house. Year one: Deal away franchise QB. Year two: Deal away franchise WR.