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
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.