Marion has been a fixture in the Dolphins secondary since he joined the team as an unrestricted free agent in 1998. When the Dolphins signed Sammy Knight from New Orleans in the offseason, Coach Dave Wannstedt said he simply would start the two best safeties among three incumbent starters — Knight, Marion and Arturo Freeman. It was apparent pretty early that it would be Marion and Knight who would start, and that's the way it played out.
His performance in 2003:
There are a couple of ways to look at Marion's season. On the one hand, he did get voted to the Pro Bowl for the third time in four seasons, so he obviously did some things right. He finished with exactly 100 tackles and also had three interceptions and two forced fumbles. But, frankly, we just don't get it with Marion. He is in no way, shape or form a Pro Bowl type of player from this vantage point. Too often you see him get caught out of position or chasing down a receiver in vain. The Dolphins had problems in coverage at times in 2003, and it seemed as though Marion and cornerback Sam Madison were the ones who most often were being victimized. Marion is a decent player, but he's not a Pro Bowler. And that's how he played in 2003.
His future with the team:
The Dolphins have some salary-cap issues on defense, and Marion might be among those who is asked to restructure his salary if he wants to remain with the team. At this point, it's probably a 50-50 proposition as to whether he'll be back.
Grade for 2003: C+.