Denver’s Brandon Marshall to visit Seattle

Despite a potentially huge price to acquire his services, the

Seattle Seahawks are going to take their shot at impressing Denver

wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The star Broncos receiver, and restricted free agent, will visit

with the Seahawks on Saturday, a team spokesman said on Friday

night. ESPN.com first reported Marshall’s visit.

The cost to get Marshall out of Denver could be significant.

Denver slapped a first-round tender on Marshall earlier this week,

meaning Seattle would have to surrender the No. 6 pick in April’s

draft as compensation to the Broncos if the two teams cannot work

out a trade.

The reward for Seattle could be the big play receiver the

Seahawks need even if he comes with past problems. Marshall has

caught more than 100 passes in three straight seasons.

Marshall, who began and ended last season in coach Josh

McDaniels’ dog house but in between caught 101 passes and 10

touchdowns, received a first-round qualifying offer from the

Broncos on Wednesday – which would make it easier to facilitate a

trade.

Marshall, who turns 26 this month, would get a 14.7 percent

raise next season to $2.521 million if he’s still in Denver.

The source of his discontent last summer was twofold: he was

angry with the team’s medical staff for misdiagnosing a hip injury

that required surgery, and he wasn’t happy with his contract.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2006, Marshall said he should be

compensated like other elite wide receivers.

He set an NFL record by catching 21 passes for 200 yards and two

touchdowns in a loss to Indianapolis, but just a few weeks later he

showed up 20 minutes late for treatment on a pulled hamstring and

was benched for the season finale.

If he comes to Seattle, Marshall would be reunited with

offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who worked as an offensive

assistant with the Broncos until last season when he went to

Southern California to becomes the offensive coordinator for Pete

Carroll. Now the duo are with the Seahawks, along with Seattle

quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who coached receivers in Denver

until last season.

And receiver is quickly becoming a need for the Seahawks. They

saw Nate Burleson leave for Detroit in the first hours of free

agency and haven’t made a decision on underperforming Deion Branch,

whom the team spent a first-round pick to acquire in a trade from

New England at the start of the 2006 season.

If Branch does not return, Seattle would have only one wide

receiver – T.J. Houshmandzadeh – on its roster that caught more

than 15 passes last season.