FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall admits he had a lousy season -- the worst of his 11-year career. But at age 33, and with one more year remaining on his contract, he still thinks he has a lot of years left to play and indicated he might even be willing to take a pay cut to return to the Jets next season.
“I’ll probably play till I’m 38, 39,’’ Marshall told reporters Monday at the Jets’ breakup day. “I love this game. I love it. I would play it for free if my bills were paid. I love it.’’
Marshall, whose feud with defensive end Sheldon Richardson seemed to be the root of what many Jet players said was bad locker-room chemistry this season, took personal responsibility for the huge drop-off in his production, which saw him catch 59 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns, one season after setting a Jets team record with 109 receptions and grabbing a personal-best 14 TDs.
“I could have done a better job in so many areas,’’ he said, including fighting through knee and foot injuries, and not dropping as many balls as he did.
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Marshall is scheduled to earn $7.5 million in 2017 and the money is not guaranteed. Having never played in the postseason, he admitted he would be disappointed if his career were to end without playing in a playoff game, and when asked if he would be willing to take a pay cut to stay with the Jets, he said winning – not money – is his only motivation these days.
“Like I said, it’s not about the money anymore; it’s all about winning,’’ he said. “But I know what I’m worth. I think this team knows what I’m worth, as far as the organization. But it’s not about the money. I’m good. I’m good with the money. I just want to win. That’s all I want to do is win. So I don’t care about anything but winning. That’s it.’’
Marshall was asked whether he would retire should the Jets decide they don’t want him back.
“Well, I have options,’’ he said. “I’ve got television (Marshall is a part of the weekly show ‘Inside the NFL’), so that’s always good. I’m glad that a couple years ago I took it serious. So I’m not in a panic. I have options.’’