Brandon Marshall, the Denver Bronco's oft troubled receiver, has had an interesting weekend. According to The Denver Post, Marshall went to Orlando on Friday, during the team's passing camp, in an effort to get the club to restructure his contract.
Marshall is entering into the final year of his rookie contract, and is slated to make $2.2 million in the 2009-2010 season.
Although, his performance has triggered clauses in his contract to up the final year from $535K, Marshall feels that he's put himself in a class with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and Randy Moss.
Those players will make an average of $8.5 million next year. Many feel that Marshall is a good year away from being in that elite class, despite consecutive 100+ catch seasons when he averaged nearly 1,300 yards.
Marshall's representatives denied the allegation of a holdout, stating: ""He went back to Orlando so he could continue rehabing from his surgery."
Oh yeah, didn't we mention that Brandon Marshall is also recovering from hip surgery. Although indications are that the hip is healing fine and that he's scheduled to be running full speed by the time training camp opens, that can be a touchy injury for a WR to fully recover from.
It seems, at the very least, odd timing to leave the Bronco's passing camp and go to Orlando in order to continue rehabing his hip.
However, on Saturday, Brandon Marshall flew back to Denver in order to have an interview with ESPN's Outside the Lines, from a local Denver TV station.
Marshall appeared on the show in order to defend himself against the allegations of his former girlfriend, Rasheeda Watley, regarding numerous domestic incidents. The show included audio of 911 calls made by Watley and her companions as well as the first interview she gave regarding the incidents.
Marshall has been involved in 13 police related incidents, most of which have involved Watley.
In addition to the incidents with Watley, Marshall was also recently arrested for an altercation with his current fiance, Michi Nogami. However, charges against both Marshall and Nogami in that case were dismissed the next day.
Marshall does, however, have a June court date for the most recent incident between himself and Watley, which occurred on March 6, 2008, in Atlanta.
Marshall's representatives and Brandon himself have stated that they believe this is about money. "This comes on the heels of his engagement to another woman," his agent, Lee Steinberg said.
"We advised ESPN that we had considerable documentation as proof that refutes the allegations. We were told we would have the opportunity to present those live, on camera, and they reneged on their offer."
The Outside the Lines report also showed two letters from Watley's attorney, asking for $500,000 and $100,000 in order to drop charges on some of the matters. However, all parties have acknowledged that no money changed hands.
The sum of these allegations, the pending court date and the 13 incidents, leaves almost no doubt that Brandon Marshall will miss some time due to NFL suspension this season.
The Commissioner's office has been mum on the situation and many have speculated that if the suspension was going to be long, the NFL would have announced before the draft so that the Broncos could factor in his loss when making their selections.
I tend to think somewhere between four and eight games is likely. Even assuming that the suspension is minimal, is now really the time to leave the team facility to rehab on your own? Especially in light of Josh McDaniels' clear disdain for this type of selfish "Me First" behavior.
It's been an interesting weekend for Brandon Marshall. He's a beast on the field. He wants to get paid like the elite at the position, and his play on the field may merit that type of contract, but can the Broncos really afford to give big money to a guy who's been in trouble since his junior year at Central Florida?
Maybe the bigger question is; can Josh McDaniels really afford not too? After the loss of Cutler in the offseason, this is a team in need of its stars.