Broncos sign Lloyd amid reports Marshall wants out
AP Sports Writer
Denver, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado – The Broncos signed free-agent receiver Brandon Lloyd on the same day a radio station reported Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall wants to follow Jay Cutler out of Denver.
Lloyd is a seventh-year pro with 15 career touchdown catches who played for Chicago last season. He’s also played for Washington and San Francisco.
His signing comes as Adam Schefter, who will join ESPN in August, reported Monday on the Broncos’ flagship radio network, KOA in Denver, that Marshall requested a trade during a meeting Friday with team owner Pat Bowlen.
Marshall, who skipped Denver’s mandatory minicamp last weekend, walked out of the meeting with several boxes of belongings and didn’t speak with reporters as he drove out of the team’s parking lot.
A team spokesman said Monday the Broncos were aware of the report of a trade request by Marshall but had no comment. Marshall’s agent, Kennard McGuire, didn’t return messages from The Associated Press.
If Marshall gets a ticket out of town, that will make two Pro Bowlers who won’t be back in ’09. Cutler forced a trade to Chicago after a falling out with new coach Josh McDaniels.
The Broncos’ other Pro Bowler, center Casey Wiegmann, also has asked for a better contract but he participated in last weekend’s minicamp and other offseason work.
Marshall, who was supposed to attend the minicamp even though he’s rehabbing from March 31 hip surgery, faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines for going AWOL. He also skipped three weeks of voluntary workouts while rehabbing under the care of his personal doctors back home in Orlando, Fla.
Marshall’s issue with the team is primarily about money but he also has cited a lack of trust in Denver’s medical staff for not wanting to rehab at team headquarters following what he has called a misdiagnosis of his hip injury last year.
In his most recent posting on his Web site, Marshall wrote: “It’s kind of funny now but some of my coaches thought I was getting ‘big-headed’ and just didn’t want to practice but I needed some fine tuning.
“What made last year so weird was that I got two MRIs, one in camp and the second around week six and was told nothing was wrong but come to find out THERE WAS A BIT OF A PROBLEM after all,” Marshall added. “LOL. I guess that’s part of the business. So after all that, I’m now even more excited about playing this season at 100%. This year I can help my team more and hopefully we can get to the playoffs.”
Marshall made $1.5 million in each of his first three seasons after being drafted in the fourth round in 2006. Making the Pro Bowl last year escalated his 2009 pay to $2.2 million.
His desire for a contract befitting his back-to-back 100-catch seasons and stellar play is hampered by all the health and legal issues surrounding the Broncos’ enigmatic star.
Will he return from hip surgery the same player who averaged 103 receptions, 1,295 yards and seven TDs each of the last two seasons?
And will he even be available for a full season?
Although the league decided Marshall won’t face a suspension over his arrest in Atlanta this spring for fighting with his new fiancee, Marshall faces a trial later this summer on two misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an altercation with his former girlfriend.
The outcome of that case could subject Marshall to punishment from the NFL even though it was part of what triggered his summons to commissioner Roger Goodell’s office last summer, when Marshall was suspended for the season opener and fined two paychecks after a series of police-related incidents involving his former girlfriend.
Marshall caught 104 passes for 1,265 yards and six TDs last season. But he dropped 18 on-target passes, something he blamed on the nerve damage in his right arm, which he said he put through a television set while horsing around with his brother a year ago in the offseason.
The Broncos are off until training camp in late July. If Marshall is still on the team, he could become their first camp holdout since Ashlie Lelie in 2006. Lelie forced a trade to Atlanta, which gave Marshall his chance to begin making his mark in Denver.