DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Marshall is on the move again — and the New York Jets’ roster purge of big-name players with big salaries continues.
The Jets are releasing the well-traveled wide receiver and clearing $7.5 million on the salary cap, a person with direct knowledge of the team’s decision told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet announced the move, which was expected to come Friday.
Marshall is the latest star to be cut by the Jets, who have also parted ways with Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Nick Folk and Breno Giacomini this offseason. New York has cleared nearly $46 million in cap space during the past few weeks.
Newsday first reported the move, and also said that Marshall asked for his release — and was granted his request — after weighing his options, including New York being interested in having the receiver return next season.
Marshall has never been to the playoffs in his 11 NFL seasons and could opt to hook on with another team that he considers a possible postseason contender.
In a statement on Instagram, Marshall thanked several members of the Jets organization, including owner Woody Johnson, general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles “for bringing me in and embracing me.” He also thanked, by name, members of the equipment and training staffs, the media relations department, the maintenance crew — and even the media.
Marshall also gave a shoutout to “the incredibly loyal Jets fans” — and apologized to them.
“I’m sorry……I’m sorry we couldn’t bring you a championship, but I wish you and my former organization the very best in your pursuit for one in the future,” he wrote. “I’m looking forward to finding a great organization where I can contribute and bring home a championship. I know I have a lot left to give, and @michi_marshall and I will truly miss the Jets, but we are excited for what lies ahead.”
Marshall, who turns 33 on March 23, played two seasons for the Jets, and set franchise records with 109 catches and 1,502 yards receiving in 2015 while being voted the team’s MVP by his teammates.
His production dropped dramatically last season, though, as he had just 59 receptions for 788 yards and three TDs while dealing with a few injuries and inconsistent quarterback play.
Marshall was also involved in a locker room argument with teammate Sheldon Richardson after the Jets were blown out in Kansas City in Week 3.
That spat appeared to set the tone for the Jets’ 5-11 season, with Revis saying the incident “just left a dark cloud over our head.”
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said New York’s locker-room conflict “didn’t help us. You look at our record and it really hindered our play.”
Marshall has also previously played for Denver, Miami and Chicago, which traded him and a seventh-round draft pick to New York in 2015 for a fifth-rounder.
After a terrific first season with the Jets, capped by his sixth Pro Bowl selection, Marshall endured a difficult second campaign in New York.
He played through a sprained knee ligament, sprained foot and toe injury for most of the season, which ended with him being inactive for the season finale because of a sore hip.
“It was probably my most frustrating year,” Marshall said the day after the season ended.
He insisted, though, that he intends to play until he’s about 38 or 39, and believes he still is capable of putting up big seasons.
“I’m still extremely confident that I’m an elite receiver,” he said. “I still demand double-coverage, still demand a lot of attention. … I think I’m still at that level where I can demand that type of respect, that type of coverage. The numbers weren’t there, and that’s new for me. I think this is a year that most receivers can hang their hat on, but not for me.
“The bar’s set high, and it’s unacceptable.”
Marshall has caught at least 100 passes six times in his career and has put up at least 1,000 yards eight times. During his final meeting with Jets reporters in January, Marshall said the gaudy numbers and big contracts are no longer important to him.
“It’s not about the money anymore,” he said at the time. “It’s all about winning.”
As for the Jets, they still have Eric Decker, who is rehabilitating from offseason hip and shoulder surgery and is expected to be ready in time for the regular season. He missed all but three games last season, catching just nine passes for 194 yards and two TDs.
Decker’s absence helped create opportunities for some younger receivers, including Enunwa, who set career highs with 58 catches for 857 yards and four scores. Speedy undrafted rookie Robby Anderson also opened eyes by catching 42 passes for 587 yards and two TDs.
Youngsters Devin Smith, Charone Peake and Jalin Marshall also remain on the roster.
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