San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh said he hated playing for the New England Patriots so much last season that he considered quitting football.
Marsh was acquired by the Patriots from the Seattle Seahawks last September in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks. Known as a pass-rushing end, Marsh said he was miscast by the Patriots as a coverage linebacker. He became so disenchanted with his role that he requested a meeting with coach Bill Belichick that he hoped would result in being waived by the team.
“They asked me to do a bunch of stuff that I had never done: covering running backs and receivers and basically almost never rushing the passer, which is what I did in playing defensive line,” Marsh told the San Francisco Chronicle. “They don’t have fun there. There’s nothing fun about it. There’s nothing happy about it. I didn’t enjoy any of my time there, you know what I’m saying? It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much.”
Marsh was ultimately waived on Nov. 19, two days after playing only two snaps in a win over the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. His Patriots’ tenure ended with 19 tackles and one sack in nine games.
“I confronted (Belichick) about all the things that were going on,” Marsh said. “I won’t get into detail, but it was B.S. things they were doing. I just wasn’t a fan. And so I, basically, without asking to get cut, I kind of asked to get cut. ... I had confidence that I would have an opportunity elsewhere and I would take advantage of it.”
That opportunity came in San Francisco, with the 49ers claiming Marsh off waivers. The 25-year-old recorded a pair of sacks while forcing two fumbles in six games over the remainder of the season. The 49ers rewarded him in the offseason with a two-year, $7.7 million contract extension.
San Francisco also did not select a pass rusher in the 2018 NFL Draft, with coach Kyle Shanahan declaring that the starting job was Marsh’s to lose. General manager John Lynch has also stated that he’s a big fan of Marsh’s game.
“I still kind of get a little bit starstruck by John Lynch,” Marsh said. “I used to play video games using him, and he was my favorite safety. So kind of having him show me love and tell me he wanted me here was incredible for me. He’s one of the greatest safeties to play the game, and he’s seen a lot of great defensive linemen.”
—Field Level Media