After 11 seasons in the NFL with not a single taste of the playoffs and a string of mediocre (or worse) quarterbacks throwing him passes, Brandon Marshall had enough. That's why he insisted his trip to free agency wasn't going to be driven by money.
And he said he proved that by signing with the Giants when he had a chance to go elsewhere and make more.
"They definitely didn't offer me the most money," Marshall said on a conference call with the media on Wednesday. "It was probably the least money. It was all about championships, to get straight to the point. It was all about a championship. They presented the best opportunity to be in a championship organization."
Who knows if Marshall, at age 33 and coming off a miserable season, really did have better offers than the two-year, $12 million deal a source said he took from the Giants? But he undoubtedly put himself in a position to at least compete for a championship. The Giants were 11-5 last season despite a badly underachieving offense. They are convinced that with a few offensive upgrades they could be in the Super Bowl conversation this year.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall is a big piece of those upgrades. After releasing Victor Cruz last month, the Giants needed another receiver. And they needed one good enough to take the pressure off of Odell Beckham, and one big enough to be the kind of large target - particularly in the red zone - that quarterback Eli Manning has lacked for years.
"Brandon is a big, talented wide receiver who we believe can still play at a very high level," Giants GM Jerry Reese said in a statement released by the team. "But, most of all, we believe he still has the hunger."
There's no doubt about that. Marshall definitely has his eyes on a Super Bowl prize, which he believes he and the Giants will have "a real shot at" this season.
"Obviously, that's the ultimate goal," Marshall said. "That's what all players and coaches are trying to achieve every single year. Obviously, I do want to accomplish that. We all do.
"But it's extremely hard. You just look at my journey, I've been in the league going on 12 years and I've never made the playoffs. That tells you how hard it is, and I've been with some great organizations and played with some great players."
Of course, he hasn't exactly played with great quarterbacks along the way - something that will surely help with his championship journey. Manning is probably the best quarterback Marshall has ever had on one of his teams.
"Not probably. He is," Marshall said. "I've played with some great quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably one of my favorite quarterbacks that I've played with. I see a lot of similarities there. I don't think people realize how hard Eli works in the film room and in the classroom, and how he's an amazing leader. Obviously, we know about his physical ability. What's not reported is how hard he works off the field. With Ryan Fitzpatrick, I'm used to that type of approach, where they're leaders and they also push you in the classroom.
"So being able to play with a guy who's a two-time Super Bowl champion and has done some amazing things in this league for a long time, he's a warrior, and I'm looking forward to following him."
And he's hoping to be able to follow him all the way to the top.