Chicago Bears star wide receiver Brandon Marshall undoubtedly deserved his three-year, $30 million extension that he signed yesterday, and Bears GM Phil Emery has definitely shown that he’s willing to keep top talent in Chicago by re-signing players earlier than most other GMs would. Marshall had less receiving yards than Alshon Jeffery last season, but he had the better season than the breakout wideout across from him. Not only did Marshall have more receptions, but he also faced off against tougher coverages and cornerbacks, and that’s not even mentioning his elite run blocking ability at WR; I’m sure the Bears and Matt Forte appreciate Marshall’s underrated work as a blocker.
The uber-physical wide receiver has his eyes set on championships now that he’s been rewarded financially by the Bears for his individual stats and impact on the game for the other skill position players on the roster, and Marshall also has his eyes set on topping a legendary WR’s numbers.
Marshall told ESPN 1000′s “Carmen and Jurko Show”, via ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson, that he’s looking to top the numbers Cris Carter put up during his 16 years with the Minnesota Vikings (12), Philadelphia Eagles (3), and Miami Dolphins (1). Marshall, of course, has eight seasons under his belt, with four coming with the Denver Broncos, two with the Dolphins, and two with the Bears (I’m sure he would like to retire in Chicago at this point).
He said, “I’m trying to pass Cris Carter in everything. I don’t think I have it in me to go for Jerry [Rice]. That’s 20 years I would have to play. Maybe with modern medicine and all this new technology, I could potentially play that long, but I’ve had three hip surgeries. I’m just asking for six more [years in the league].”
Carter had 1,101 career receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns, while Marshall currently has 712 receptions for 9,050 yards and 57 touchdowns. Carter played until he was 37, so Marshall is hoping that he will have only one year less than Carter, and he’s definitely cognizant that it’s all about durability at this point. I don’t think we appreciate Marshall’s dominance nearly enough, because he has five seasons with at least 100 receptions, three with at least ten touchdowns, and five with at least 1,200 yards; Carter had just two seasons with over 100 receptions and four seasons with at least 1,200 yards, but he did have six (including five straight) seasons with at least ten touchdown catches.
Marshall averages 12.7 yards per reception, 5.8 receptions per game, and 73.6 yards per game. Carter? He averaged 4.7 receptions per game and 59.4 yards per game with 12.6 yards per reception. As long as Marshall stays healthy and doesn’t suffer a completely unexpected, sharp decline, then he should surpass Carter in that time-frame. In order to close the receptions gap in six seasons, he would need to catch just 65 passes per season. To beat Carter’s yards, he would need to average over 808.2 yards per season, and he would also need 12.2 touchdowns per season to surpass Carter’s ridiculous TD totals.