The team lost reliable wideout and returner Nate Burleson to Detroit in the early hours of free agency on Friday. Deion Branch is an aging, injury-riddled veteran that has little value to any team around the league.
Last offseason, the franchise tried to address its receiving core when it went out and won the sweepstakes for coveted free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh. But Seattle is still without that elite wideout that can change a game on one play.
Marshall is that player.
In only four years in Denver, specifically the last three seasons, Marshall has made his fair share of circus catches and put up ridiculous numbers between Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton throwing the ball in his direction. The fourth-round pick from the 2006 NFL Draft has already piled up 4,000 yards in his young career and has recorded three straight 1,000-yard seasons in which he's caught at least 100 passes.
Given these gaudy numbers, the Seahawks shouldn't be afraid to part with their sixth overall draft pick in the first round and pay Marshall the big-money contract he wants in the NFL—that is, if the two teams cannot come to a trade agreement. Boasting a player of his calibre can potentially turn a struggling franchise into a playoff team in only one season, and in Seattle's case a division-winning team in a weak NFC West.
Look no further than the monstrous role he played in Denver's shocking 6-0 start to the season, after preseason projections pegged the Broncos to struggle all year. He could work similar magic in Seattle, catching passes from Matt Hasselbeck, who will have a bounce back season after one of his worsts as a pro.
On the contract front, the organization will be spending big money in over a month at the NFL Draft anyway. In this day and age, Top 10 draft picks are instantly garnering tens of millions of dollars before even playing a snap in the NFL.
So instead of spending an inordinate amount of money on a unproven first-round selection, which may or may not turn into a franchise player, Seattle should take the sure bet. Marshall has blossomed into a top player in the league in a short amount of time, and that money would undoubtedly be more wisely spent on a proven commodity.
Perhaps the only concern about Marshall is his rotten attitude and sometimes reckless off-field conduct, which can severely affect a locker room as a season wears on—like it did in 2009 when the Broncos went through their late-season slide down the AFC West.
It was an issue during training camp last year when Marshall was kicking around footballs and complaining about his contract status. But if a team treats him right and pays him what he's worth—as one of the top five receivers in the game today—everything should be just fine on the field, where he shines at his best.
Either way, in all likelihood Marshall will be playing in Seattle next year, as the Broncos visit Qwest Field for the first time since 2002. The color of uniform he'll be wearing in that game will likely be determined in the coming weeks as the restricted free agent shops his services.