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The truth behind the NFL's injury reports
Cause and effectDenver wide receiver Brandon Marshall skipping the team's three-day minicamp last weekend. The cause: According to the Denver Post, Marshall is upset about his contract and doesn't want the team's medical staff handling his rehabilitation from offseason hip surgery. The effect: The Broncos are having problems with a star player once again this offseason. But unlike with now-traded quarterback Jay Cutler, there's no question who is in the wrong here. Although he was a 100-catch receiver each of the past two seasons, Marshall's off-field behavior nullifies any argument that he deserves a raise from his $2.2 million salary in 2009. Marshall has a history of domestic-abuse incidents and could face another NFL suspension depending on the outcome of an August trial on two misdemeanor battery charges. Why would the Broncos want to reward Marshall when there are no guarantees he can keep himself on the field? The more intriguing question going forward is whether first-year Broncos coach Josh McDaniels would be willing to continue his housecleaning and trade Marshall if an intriguing offer surfaces. Unfortunately for Denver, Marshall's best potential landing spot Chicago seems highly unlikely after the Bears already surrendered a king's ransom for Cutler.
The BuzzI don't know how much improvement St. Louis can make from last year's 2-14 season, but here's an encouraging sign under first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo. Twenty players voluntarily stayed late for on-field work last Tuesday after an OTA session ended. The group included right tackle and 2009 first-round pick Jason Smith, who practiced his punch on a blocking sled. Rams running back Steven Jackson also appears in phenomenal shape after missing eight games the past two seasons with injuries ...
One NFL executive believes Kansas City could take an unusual tack when negotiating a contract with first-round pick Tyson Jackson. Because the Chiefs have so much salary-cap room available (they were $32 million under the $128 million cap as of last month), Kansas City may frontload Jackson's contract to help reach the minimum spending floor of $107.7 million in player salary expenditure for 2009. Green Bay did something similar last year when jacking up the first year of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' contract extension. Jackson is expected to receive roughly $30 million in guaranteed money as the No. 3 overall pick.