Brandon Marshall to the San Francisco 49ers


The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of a mediocre season. Finishing 8-8 in their final year under the Harbaugh era was not what many expected. The team was plagued with injuries and off-field distractions.

Enter the new era under head coach Jim Tomsula. The make-up of the team is relatively the same and the glaring hole is still at the wide receiver position. Let’s face it, 2014 starters Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin do not strike fear into many defenses – especially in the NFC West where all teams are stout on the defensive side of the ball.

The team (as is) can compete and win verse any other opponents. But when it comes to the NFC West, they have struggled, especially against the Seattle Seahawks. The Legion of Boom have “owned” the 49ers’ passing game and their current receivers fail to get any separation on their routes.

The Arizona Cardinals mimicked the Seahawks by starting two big physical corners in Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. They aren’t the Legion of Boom but they do wreak havoc and make life difficult for San Francisco. It is time the dominance shifts.

The 49ers need a true number one wide-out that commands a double team and can get behind the secondary (deep). There are many names that come to mind. However, for this team, one really sticks out.

Brandon Marshall.

The Chicago Bears have made it known that under new head coach John Fox, Marshall will likely not be on the 2015 roster. The Bears are entertaining calls to trade Marshall for a mid to late round draft pick. The 49ers should be all over this.

Marshall brings an element that no receiver on the current roster for San Francisco has. Marshall is 6’4 and weighs 230 pounds. He is 30 years of age but still has plenty left in the tank.

Last year was not Marshall’s best. He posted some career lows catching 61 balls for 721 yards and 8 touchdowns. However, the year prior, he hauled in 100 catches for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Imagine Seahawks’ corner Richard Sherman dealing with that type of receiver.

Granted Marshall has had his fair share of issues off-the-field. But ever since getting treated for his borderline personality disorder, he has come a long way. Sure, he had some out bursts last season with the Bears.

But who wouldn’t with Jay Cutler as your quarterback?

Marshall wants to win, like any normal fierce competitor. The Bears had all the talent in the world and it was not translating on to the field. That frustrated him and trust me when I say, that’s a good thing.

You want players with passion on your team, especially in football. Of course there is a fine line between being a locker room distraction and being passionate. Marshall was not a distraction last year.

On March 12, Marshall’s base salary of $7.5 million becomes guaranteed. The Bears appear to want to trade him prior to that date. The 49ers are not expected to bring back wide receiver Michael Crabtree – unless a home town discount is given.

This is a great opportunity for owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke to show the Niners Nation that they are committed to winning and will do whatever it takes. A line-up that consists of Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson and Vernon Davis could cause chaos for opponents.

The 49ers can also draft a young rookie at the position and groom him along at the professional level. The move would alleviate added pressure for a youngster to produce right away. The 2015 draft class has tremendous talent.

However, trading for Marshall would be impactful instantaneously.

Marshall can be that big bodied, physical specimen that the 49ers need so desperately against their arch rivals in Seattle. He would open up the run game as well. Not to mention, take a lot of attention away from Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.

It is a no brainer.

Shakeel Khan is a sports team writer for the San Francisco 49ers at Pro Football Central