And rightfully so.
In four seasons with the Denver Broncos, Marshall has compiled over 100 catches in three of those seasons, and has already amassed over 4,000 yards.
Marshall has done so with two different quarterbacks: Jay Cutler (2007-2008) and Kyle Orton (2009). I should emphasize the fact that Orton, a mere throw-in when Denver traded Cutler to Chicago, had a spike of nearly 1,000 yards passing between 2008 and 2009.
That can be explained by several things: NFL rule changes, Coach McDaniels' offensive system, better protection from the line, etc. Nevertheless, Marshall has been a constant force at receiver, and no one can deny that he is a proactive playmaker, not just a reactive one (as many receivers have been labeled).
Just like Randy Moss.
Marshall has also been infamous for his off-field troubles. My rule about off-field behavior is that no one should care until something has been proven in a court, because any pro athlete is a target for gold-diggers, leeches, and your generic hangers on that hope to cash in on a scandal, merely by being in your company.
Marshall is currently a restricted free agent and would demand a first and third-round pick as compensation to Denver if another club signs him.
The question here is: Would I trade a first and third round pick for Marshall?
The answer is no, with an 'if'.
If your first-round pick is in the second half of the first round, then trade away. If you're a team like Seattle—reportedly interested in Marshall's services—I would not trade a top-15 pick, let alone the sixth overall pick.
In the case of Seattle, I have seen many similarities between the post-Super Bowl Seahawks and the post-Super Bowl Raiders.
Granted, the Seahawks have not been bottom-dwellers the whole time, but keep in mind that the NFC West is easily the least competitive division in the NFL and that, eventually, the division caught up with a Seattle club that had been running on fumes.
And you know, after the Seattle-Pittsburgh Super Bowl, I have told many Seahawks fans that they now have something in common with Raider fans—you now know what it's like to be screwed by the refs and the Steelers.
Trading the sixth overall pick for Marshall would be akin to when the Raiders traded the seventh overall pick (and then some) in 2005 for Randy Moss, when the Raiders could have selected QB Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders insisted that they didn't need a top quarterback. The Raiders had Kerry Collins (yipppeee!.... in case you can't tell, I was being sarcastic).
The Raiders even traded back into the first round in 2005, when Rodgers was still available and took (wait for it) Fabian Washington. Eventually, the Raiders selected QB Andrew Walter in the third round, but Walter never did much.
Similarly, the Seahawks passed on Mark Sanchez in 2009. Say what you will about his stats as a rookie, but the fact is, Sanchez has a promising future.
I have long made my belief clear that quarterback is just one position on the team. Nevertheless, when the quarterback is bad, it glares.
The Seahawks are in good position to fill two concerns in the first round: quarterback and offensive tackle. Thus, Seattle should fill those needs rather than mortgage a top pick for a volatile player that could decide to dog it until he gets traded for nothing, ala Randy Moss.
Especially now that Pete Carroll is the coach.
Sticking with Hasselbeck would mean that Carroll thinks this team can be in the postseason in 2010. The risk, however, is that the failure to meet that goal would likely result in a one-and-done campaign for Carroll in 2010. Whereas, taking a quarterback in the top 10 would buy leeway for the new regime.
The fatal mistake that Seattle has been making has been insisting that Matt Hasselbeck is still the franchise passer. I don't say that coldly, but I can only say that bluntly. Seattle needs to prepare for the future before the future catches up to the Seahawks.
Just like the Raiders.