McDaniels: Dialogue part of Broncos Marshall plan
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado –As the Brandon Marshall holdout saga becomes increasingly agitated, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has attempted to send a message of peace.
Marshall’s agent, Kennard Mc-Guire, made an aggressive negotiating move Tuesday by telling Fox 31 News that Marshall requested a trade during the wide receiver’s one-on-one meeting with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen last Friday afternoon.
The meeting occurred after Marshall skipped the mandatory minicamp session that morning. Marshall later was spotted carrying packed boxes to his car before leaving the team’s Dove Valley headquarters.
“Mr. Bowlen has said that ownership will do everything in its power to accommodate his wishes,” McGuire told the television station.
Marshall, too, appears to be preparing for his exit from Denver. He wrote a new entry on his blog Tuesday afternoon in which he said, “Change is probably best” for him personally and professionally.
“It’s hard leaving an organization ran (sic) by one of the best owners in all of sports, and someone who’s been there for me through my ups and downs,”Marshall wrote in an entry titled “Clearing the Air.” “The hardest thing was hearing Mr. B wish me luck in the future, but we both came to the conclusion that this is probably the best thing for me to grow on and off the field.”Marshall went on to thank Denver fans.
Despite the strong words from Marshall and his agent, there has been no indication the Broncos will seek to deal Marshall, who is unhappy with his contract that will pay him $2.198 million this season, the final year of his deal.
“We met after Pat’s meeting with Brandon and we are going to continue our dialogue with Brandon and his representative,” McDaniels said. “We look forward to having Brandon at training camp.”
Bowlen declined a request seeking comment. Marshall has been one of the NFL’s top receivers the previous two seasons, when he combined for 206 receptions, 2,590 yards and 13 touchdowns.
And, yes, he is affordable. According to a USA Today study, there were 58 receivers in the NFL who drew more than $2.2 million in salary and prorated bonuses last year, including Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and Keary Colbert of the Broncos.
Marshall’s contract is more reflective of the fact he was a fourth-round draft pick than his production, although because he was named to the Pro Bowl last season, he did get a bump this season from $535,000 to nearly $2.2 million.
Conspiring against Marshall as a long-term Broncos investment, however, is a hip injury that he had surgery for April 1, and off-field legal problems that potentially leave him vulnerable to the league’s personal conduct policy.
If Marshall doesn’t report to the Broncos by Aug. 12, roughly two weeks after training camp commences, he could risk forfeiting not only $105,000 of the prorated signing bonus he received as a rookie in 2006, but a fourth year of service time, which would put him another year away from unrestricted free agency.
Marshall, who already is facing a $35,329 penalty for skipping the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp last weekend, would also be facing stiff fines for each day he misses at training camp.
The NFL owners’ decision last year to reopen the collective bargaining agreement also is working against Marshall’s desire for a long-term deal. Under the former CBA rules, players such as Marshall could have become un-restricted free agents after their fourth season.
But with the owners essentially vaporizing the CBA for the 2010 season, fourth- and fifth-year players would be subject to restricted free agency, which essentially limits them to one-year contracts.
Staff writer Lindsay H. Jones contributed to this story. Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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