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So what of the receiver situation?

Posted by Albert Breer  February 22, 2010 10:41 AM

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I spoke with Marshall in December after his record-breaking day in Indianapolis, and while he was affable and open about his big afternoon, the receiver would really only say about Josh McDaniels' offense that "The transition took some time for me" and "We're still jelling."

So even though he's a good enough athlete to fit anywhere, it's clear he was a little lukewarm about the system. And then there's what McDaniels said about trading for Matt Cassel at last year's owner's meetings. Check it out.

"I don't think Bill Belichick wanted to trade Matt Cassel to me. Why would he want to do that?" McDaniels said. ""He knew and does know that I've coached the player. He saw what happened this past year. ... I don't know that I would want to do that with any of our players - send him to a guy that had coached them and had success with them. That would improve their team significantly."

Belichick and Co. have never coached Marshall. But if McDaniels has the same kind of institutional knowledge -- of what Marshall could do in New England -- would he want to put himself out there by dealing a star to his old team? Probably not.

That leaves Jackson, who I'm bullish on. He's tough, competitive, and at 27, still has room to grow. When Jackson came out of Northern Colorado in 2005, the Patriots kicked the tires on him.

I don't think San Diego's going to be quick to deal him, at all. But if they do think they've got to slash payroll, and Marcus McNeill becomes a bigger priority, and they decide they want to get rid of him, would it work?

It's worth mentioning that the Patriots and Chargers have made trades with each other in the past, despite their heated rivalry.

Again, I think it's highly unlikely. But if you're looking at the restricted free agent receivers, I think Jackson's the guy you'd ideally want.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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