New England Patriots defensive back Eric Rowe (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Brandon Marshall knows exactly where he wants to play next season. The question is whether the New York Jets want the veteran wide receiver back.
Marshall, who turns 33 in March, finished with just 59 catches — the second-lowest total of his 11-year career — for 788 yards and three touchdowns. He also played through a sprained knee ligament, sprained foot and toe injury for most of the season, which ended with him being inactive Sunday because of a sore hip.
“It was probably my most frustrating year,” Marshall said during a 23-minute session with reporters Monday as the Jets players cleared out their locker for the offseason.
“I’ve been in the league 11 years and never made the playoffs, but I’ve always been productive,” he added. “So, this was a new challenge for me: losing, but not being productive. So, it was a struggle all year.”
That comes after Marshall set franchise marks last year with 109 receptions and 1,502 yards receiving.
“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’s future with the franchise is uncertain since he is due $7.5 million next season and the team can save the entire amount on the salary cap if it cuts him.
He hopes to play until he’s 38 or 39, so retirement isn’t in his immediate plans. But Marshall is one of a handful of veterans who could be salary-cap casualties during the offseason.
“It’s not about the money anymore,” he said. “It’s all about winning. 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 said he would “love to be back” and indicated he would accept a pay cut to return to the Jets.
“I’ll play for free,” he said. “My bills are paid.”
Marshall previously said that the Jets would be his last stop, that he didn’t picture playing anywhere else after beginning his career with Denver, Miami and Chicago.
He has been working as an analyst for Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” the past three seasons, so he already is planning for his post-playing career.
“I have options,” he said. “I have television, so that’s always good. I’m glad a couple of years ago, I took it serious, so I have options.”
It remains to be seen, though, if Marshall will have the Jets as one of those options.
He and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson had a feud that began during a loss at Kansas City in Week 3. After the Jets’ 30-10 win over Buffalo on Sunday, cornerback Darrelle Revis said the team had a “dark cloud” over all season.
Other players mentioned that the locker room had issues, with in-fighting a problem — and Marshall at the center of some of the strife as his motivational speeches fell flat on some teammates and irritated others.
“For me, with Brandon, I always make sure that I hear the message rather than the delivery of the message,” wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said. “That’s not easy for everybody.”
Enunwa attributed Marshall’s messages to him desperately wanting to win and make the playoffs, but he thinks the lack of overall harmony in the locker room hurt the Jets as the losses piled up.
Marshall acknowledged that there was tension within the team, but added that he thought he did “a great job” with handling the adversity.
“I think in retrospect, I can work on my timing, but I’m totally fine with my approach this year,” he said. “My only motive is to win ballgames. I’m tired of going home right after the season. I’m tired of watching the playoffs on my couch. I’m tired of it. It’s just a frustrating year. It’s been a frustrating career from that aspect.
“Hopefully, things change moving forward.”
NOTES: Coach Todd Bowles said RB Matt Forte had arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee. … RT Breno Giacomini will have surgery to repair a herniated disk, with a recovery period of about four months. … Bowles said QB Bryce Petty will have surgery this week on the torn labrum in his left shoulder. … The Jets signed five players to reserve/future deals: DL Kenny Anunike, WR Darius Jennings, DL Claude Pelon, FB Chris Swain and TE Jason Vander Laan.