As the Brandon Marshall saga rolls on in Denver, other NFL teams are looking at the four-year veteran as a possible trade option. Newsday reports that the New York Jets are “seriously considering” making a move for the suspended wideout.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels has assured that he wants Marshall to play for the Broncos under his current contract. This draws similarities to the coach’s confidence that Jay Cutler would be Denver’s quarterback in 2009-2010, and Cutler is now in Chicago.
The worst case scenario for Denver is if Marshall comes back under current terms, puts up mediocre statistics, and skips town at season’s end.
If Marshall decides to hold out instead, the Broncos must be prepared to pay or trade him to maximize his value.
Denver has already lost one franchise player this offseason and cannot afford to let another one go. With the less capable Kyle Orton at quarterback, Marshall’s ability to gain yards after the catch would provide a significant edge to the Bronco passing game. He also has an opportunity to become a leader on offense as one of its most senior and talented members.
Despite the obvious upside, Denver would be foolish to invest millions of dollars in a player not committed to the franchise. If Marshall wants a new contract in Denver, he will have to prove to coaches and teammates that he deserves it, by giving his maximum effort both in practices and games.
Any trade for Brandon will likely result in a better deal for the team receiving Marshall than for Denver. Interested teams like the Jets are counting on a trade similar to Cutler’s, in which they can get a Pro Bowl caliber player for less than his actual value.
Should the Broncos have to trade Marshall, McDaniels cannot settle for anything less than a first and fourth round pick. This value will allow the coach to address needs at the end of year one through multiple high round picks in the 2010 draft.