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I saw the rumor on the bottom of the NFL page on ESPN:
“Hawks looking at Brandon Marshall.”
This simple five-word line got me pumped up and prompted me to contact a couple of people in the Seattle media I keep in touch with.
Seattle Seahawks fans, you are going to like this next part.
Although it is not “set in stone” or “near completion”, a trusted source of mine within the Seattle media has confirmed that this rumor has some substance: The Seahawks have inquired about Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Although I was not told for whom or for what (draft picks), the idea has been tossed around.
It seems as if the days of “Ruskell-esque” player evaluations are well done and over. With Floyd Reese all systems go to Seattle as the general manager, our target for acquiring players just got quite a bigger.
This is a city that views TJ Houshmandzadeh as the second coming of Terrell Owens, and that is laughable. This is the type of strict scrutiny management has been living under with Ruskell at the helm.
While character should definitely be a part of evaluating players you choose to be on your team, it shouldn’t be the strict prerequisite in a league filled with many hotheads and big egos.
Ruskell was strict about signing and drafting high-quality character above anything else, including talent. This preference of taking character over talent is part of the reason why we are sitting with a 9-23 record the past two seasons.
Holmgren had to beg Ruskell to re-sign wide reciever Koren Robinson when the Seahawks were in the midst of losing SEVEN wide receivers to injury in 2008, that in itself should say something.
I have never been opposed to characters, and Marshall, while not quite the quirky adolescent nature we have come to enjoy from Terrell Owens, has had his share of bumps with the law, the only significant being a DUI charge.
Marshall is the real deal not even in his prime yet, and has had three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, the first coming in just his second year in the league. Landing him would be a major coup for this squad, and even saying that is an understatement.
His body of work speaks for itself, and at only 25, he provides many years of upside for his team if a trade were to go through. He has proven he can produce no matter who is at the helm, whether it be a deep-heaver like Jay Cutler or a mid-ranged arm like Kyle Orton.
Better yet, he may come at a discount to the Seahawks. The Broncos are simply looking to offload him and gain something before he leaves as a free agent following the 2010 season.
This may spell the end for Nate Burleson in Seattle—his contract runs for seven years, but most of that was backloaded to mimic the Steve Hutchinson contract. The real contract was four years, $14.5 million. No disrespect to Nate because he has performed well for us, but he is no Marshall. The ideal scenario to me is giving Deion Branch his well-deserved pink slip, (cut or traded) instead and re-signing Burleson.
Looking at the Seahawks' roster and the Broncos' roster, there are a couple players the Broncos would likely be interested in (as I was not told anything specifically involving players or draft picks, all of the following scenarios are purely plausible speculation on my part).The two that make the most sense are defensive end Patrick Kerney and wide reciever Deion Branch
Remember in 2007 the Broncos went after Kerney and tight end Daniel Graham in a bidding war with the Seahawks. Ultimately endeing up snagging Graham from the Seahawks and losing out on Kerney.
The Broncos did not generate that much pass rush along the defensive line, producing only eight sacks amongst all lineman personnel.
Kerney produced five sacks last season, and while not terrific, he is solid considering he was playing for the Seahawks last season. He is two seasons removed from a 14.5 sack season and is a rumored candidate to be on his way out of Seattle with the overhaul and youth movement that's going to take place.
Branch was with McDaniels in New England, and certainly the Seahawks would have to throw in some more, (same with all these guys) to equal out value here. His familiarity with McDaniels and his system makes him a very plausible target for the Broncos despite his struggles in Seattle. You can do a whole lot worse then Eddie Royal, Deion Branch, Brandon Stokley, and Jabar Gaffney, as your recieving unit.
Another candidate could be linebacker David Hawthorne. I personally feel the Seahawks should utilize him somehow, whether it's switching to a 3-4 or moving either Curry or Hill to defensive end. However much I want the scenario to happen, it does not appear imminent. He enjoyed a breakout year, and with the Seahawks heavily invested in their starting linebacking unit, they could opt to deal Hawthorne while his value is still high.
He would fit in nicely with Denver's 3-4 alongside three of their terrific linebackers, and he would provide a definite upgrade over their weakest link, Mario Haggan.
As far as draft picks, with other far more pressing needs, I can't see the Seahawks giving up either of their first round picks; it simply won't happen. As nice as getting Marshall would be, there are too many issues along the offensive line, secondary, and defensive line to cough up the sixth or 14th pick for a guy playing a position we are well-stocked at presently. If they could get a deal done involving their second round pick and Deion Branch, pull the bleepin' trigger!
This is a rumor I am definitely going to keep my eye on based on its apparent validity. I will keep updating this article when information comes to me, so check back!
Because I have been asked several times, I want to answer this question for everyone. Brandon Marshall is indeed a restricted free agent, technically puts him up for bidding to sign by any team. In order for this to happen though, the Broncos would need to tender him a contract, doing so is the way they make sure to recieve compensation. The price would amount to a first, and third round pick, plus a contract averaging $8-9 per season, for the bidding team to obtain Marshall.
The Broncos do have the right to negotiate another trade for him to avoid doing the above. Such a trade is one that could occur with Seattle.