Wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed a two-year, $12 million free agent deal with the New York Giants on Mar. 8. That hasn’t stopped Marshall’s former teammate, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, from taking shots at him.
It’s not a secret that Marshall and Richardson do not like each other. They very nearly came to blows last season after the Jets lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. Their friction divided the locker room and contributed to a 5-11 Jets campaign.
Richardson said “the locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with now” on the first day of the Jets’ organized team activities (OTAs). When asked to elaborate, Richardson said, “Man oh man, y’all (reporters) are thirsty. Let’s just say I’ve got 15 reasons why it’s better.”
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Marshall wore No. 15 with the Jets. He took the high road in response to Richardson’s comments.
“I’m not a perfect guy, but I worked extremely hard to get in the position that I am in today,” Marshall said. “The first couple of years of my career, it was rough. And a lot of it I did myself, I hurt myself. But since that point, once I figured things out, I’ve worked extremely hard to be a better person.
“I’ve worked extremely hard to be a better teammate, a better father, a better husband—and I’m proud of where I’m at today. I wake up every single day, trying to make a positive impact in any room that I step into.
It was Marshall’s only response. Richardson still feels a need to renew the hostilities. He accused Marshall of being “drama queen-ish” after losses and of “quitting” on the Jets in an interview on “The Michael Kay Show”:
“Guys didn’t address the situation at hand that needed to be addressed to him because of who he was as far as media perspective wise, and how guys kinda carried him on the team a little bit,” That whole situation was sticky because we lose and he did things that were drama queenish.
“Dogging this guy, that guy. It’s everybody’s fault except his. And there’s a reason this, a reason that, and everybody pointing the finger when you losing, and then no one wants to say something to him. Then I say something to him, and I’m the criminal, the bad guy, and the media just ran with it.
“That man knows what he did to the locker room a little bit. And I was the one who addressed that. And still will address to this day. So, if he can’t come out to the media and tell them what he did and how he actually quit on this team before the season was over, well that’s all in itself.”
The fact Richardson is still speaking on last year’s events is questionable, especially a day after one of the Jets’ quarterbacks was sent home from training camp for incorrectly breaking out of the huddle. The J-E-T-S also lost one of their receivers for the season. They have more serious problems than Brandon Marshall, who isn’t even on the team anymore.
Is Richardson bringing up old beef to help deflect attention from the J-E-T-S being really A-W-F-U-L? Is he jealous of Marshall for landing on a team that is light years ahead of the Jets both currently and historically?
Marshall’s current teammates came to his defense.
“For me, he’s been cool,” cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. “He’s funny, a nice guy, respectable and I think he’s just enjoying his time here.”
“He’s got experience, so he’s obviously a leader, somebody younger guys can look to and take advice from,” offensive lineman Weston Richburg said.
Head coach Ben McAdoo is pleased with Marshall as well.
“I think he’s a tremendous communicator,” McAdoo said Sunday. “I found that out the first time I met with him. We had a nice conversation. We sat sown, one-on-one, and talked about what we wanted to get out of this, on both sides.
“He’s a guy that speaks from the heart and he’s a tremendous communicator and I think that’s rubbing off on some guys in the room.”