Panthers CB Marshall Seeking Offer Sheet But No Takers Yet

Since first hearing the Panthers tendered starting CB Richard Marshall at the 2nd round level we have wondered if Marshall would feel slightly by the seemingly low offer. Pro Football Weekly apparently has an answer:

RFA CB Richard Marshall is not participating in the Panthers' voluntary offseason conditioning program to show his displeasure with being tendered at the second-round level. Marshall is hoping another team will send him an offer sheet, but it doesn't appear that there's much of a market for his services at this time.

So should Marshall be upset or should he instead actually work on his game? If the lack of interest from other teams doesn't convince him of the latter he might want to look at the stats. Pro Football Focus CB stats has him ranked the 78th best CB in the league. Let's see, 32 teams, 2 starting CB's per team equals 64. So that means there were about 15 back-up CB's that performed better than Marshall in 2009.

A further breakdown by category shows he weaknesses and his not so weak areas:

  • He's #106 (-5.1) against the run (out of 107, only DeAngelo Hall was worse)
  • He's #86 as a pass rusher (-.04)
  • He's #69 penalty-wise (-3.5)
  • He's #32 in coverage (+2.4)
  • He tied for the team led in INT's with 4 (the Panthers finished 5th in the NFL with 22)

It's interesting though that Marshall in turn was second on the team in tackles with 88 in 2009, 75 were solo. The explanation must be that teams threw at him much more than Chris Gamble, and completed them and then Marshall made the tackle. I don't have the stats for how many times teams ran to his side but I imagine that too leaned heavily against him. The PFF stats above suggest Marshall does not get off blocks well.

Being an edge CB obviously the coverage stat is the most important but the other stats certainly highlight where Marshall needs to improve and probably answers the mail as to why the Panthers tendered him a 2nd and why that appears likely his best offer.

If you look at his game breakdown it's pretty interesting too. Marshall saved his best and his worst for our division foes:

  • Two if his best three cover games (only three on the season in the green) were against ATL.
  • His best game was in the season closer against a Brees-less Saints squad. That's not a confidence-builder in my book. 
  • His two worst coverage games was the Bills game and the second TB game.
  • His worst game of the season was the first Saints game which is no surprise given how that one turned out. The secondary got shredded in the second half.

What is most surprising to me looking at these stats is simply how average Marshall was most of the season. It's obvious the guy played well enough to keep his starting job throughout the year but only because he had no serious challenger. That may change this off-season though. The rookie Captain Munnerlyn didn't exactly light it up at #96 but again he's a rookie. He was plagued by too many penalties also struggled against the run. Though I think both players have upside don't be surprised of Munnerlyn gives him a run for his money

Unless of course some other team gives Marshall the money he is looking for. I think he would be wise instead to focus on his game and then the let the money work itself out. Marshall still has until April 15th to sign his tender.

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