Broncos in no hurry to let Marshall go
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado
DENVER, CO Colorado –Brandon Marshall can huff and he can puff. But can he blow his way through the Broncos’ control and follow Jay Cutler out the Dove Valley doors?
There are no indications the Broncos will treat the holdout of Marshall, a wide receiver who wants more money, as they did Cutler, a quarterback who refused to play for new head coach Josh McDaniels.
Marshall is dissatisfied with his contract, which is to end after he draws a $2.198 million salary this year. To further demonstrate his position, Marshall skipped three weeks of the team’s “voluntary” passing camp, then all three mandatory minicamp sessions last weekend.
Following the mandatory session Friday morning, Marshall was granted a private audience with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
* Browse a slide show of images from Brandon Marshall’s career.
* Browse a video of other Broncos players at minicamp reflecting on Brandon Marshall’s absence.
Marshall carried packed boxes to his car following his meeting before driving away without comment. A KOA radio report Monday said Marshall told Bowlen, “I think I’d like to be traded.”
Think? Did he or did he not demand to be traded?
“I think that would be putting it too strong,” said an NFL source with knowledge of the situation.
By skipping the mandatory minicamp, the Broncos have the right to dock their receiver $35,329 in fines and seek repayment of the signing bonus he received in 2006. Marshall would face additional fines if his holdout continues into training camp, and he would have to repay another $78,750 of his signing bonus if he holds out through Aug. 12.
Perhaps more significant, Marshall could risk forfeiting his fourth season of service – which in turn would put him another year away from un-restricted free agency – if he doesn’t report by Aug. 12.
A case can be made Marshall is underpaid. Then again, Marshall could consider those penalties walking-around money compared with general parameters of a contract he may be seeking. The league had 26 receivers who made at least $5 million in salary and prorated bonuses in 2008. Marshall had 206 catches the past two seasons, second only to Wes Welker’s 223.
As much as salary, Marshall wants a long-term deal knowing the Broncos could keep him on a one-year deal as a restricted free agent next year, and as a franchised unrestricted free agent in 2011 and 2012.
The Broncos appear intent on waiting Marshall out. Trading him would seem to be a dicey option. For starters, several other disgruntled NFL receivers who have more proven track records – Arizona’s Anquan Boldin, Cincinnati’s Chad Johnson and Green Bay’s Donald Driver – have let it be known they are unhappy with their contracts. All are still with their respective teams.
Then there’s Plaxico Burress, who in five fewer games than Marshall the past two seasons, has caught three more touchdown passes (16 to 13). Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh last season, an incident that led to still-pending charges and his release from the Giants. He remains unsigned.
Marshall has a lengthy legal rap sheet, including a misdemeanor battery charge that is pending in an Atlanta court. He is recovering from an injured hip that wasn’t surgically repaired until April 1.
Kennard McGuire, Marshall’s agent, said Sunday he has been having ongoing dialogue with McDaniels.
Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org