David Haugh teased it last week and ESPN is rumoring it today but the Bears do seem logical entrants into the Brandon Marshall sweepstakes come the end of the 2009 season. Marshall - according to the Denver Post - was unhappy with the Broncos' treatment of a nagging hip injury he dealt with throughout the 2008 season and, of course, doesn't like what his contract has in store:
[His agent Kennard] McGuire acknowledged concern about
Marshall's long-term security. Marshall is in the final season of a
four-year contract that will pay him $2.2 million this year. But
instead of having unrestricted free agency waiting for him at the end
of this season, NFL owners reopened the new collective bargaining
agreement -- a labor strategy that would make fourth-year players such
as Marshall a restricted free agent after this season.
A restricted free agent tops out at one year and $2.792
million. The NFL top receivers make from $7 million to $10 million a
It should be noted that Brandon Marshall is worse than Ochocinco, Plax and T.O.combined. Those guys may be locker room cancers and self-inflicted gunshot wounds waiting to happen but Brandon actually beats women (or specifically one woman) on a regular basis. This is the very reason that Denver has been unwilling to sign one of the best receiving talents in the game long-term.
Why bring this up now? Because the Denver Broncos should be a pretty terrible football team in the 2009 season. John Clayton believes they have been "acting like the equivalent of an expansion team. They made 14 unrestricted free-agent signings and already have cut two." If things get ugly quickly for the Broncos in 2009, unloading a problem-child wide receiver for draft picks might become an October priority. And Marshall should be eager to re-join Cutler after a couple months with Chris Simms and Kyle Orton, specifically because Jay has proven to be one of the only folks around capable of getting through to him.
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