If recent history serves as a window into the future, then the Broncos should trade WR Brandon Marshall in exchange for multiple draft picks.
The Redskins reportedly offered the Bengals two first-round picks for then-Chad Johnson before the 2008 NFL Draft, but Cincinnati declined. One name change later, and Ochocinco’s value, along with his production, has fallen faster than shares of AIG stock. Instead of a government bailout, though, the Bengals received only regret after winning just 11 games over the last two seasons. The Bengals also lost their most productive receiver, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who signed a free-agent contract with the Seahawks during the offseason.
Marshall is a talented Pro Bowl receiver who’s entering his fourth NFL season, but the Broncos are in no hurry to offer him a new contract while seemingly 50 NFL players at his same position earn higher salaries. Marshall has caught over 100 passes in each of the last two seasons, so his trade value is substantially high.
But Marshall’s desire to leave Denver stems less from the fact that the team has yet to offer him a new contract and more from his tumultuous time in the Mile High City dealing with off-the-field issues.
Marshall has long stated that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen told him that the team would work to accommodate his trade request. It is a statement the Broncos have yet to deny. Mr. Bowlen is one of the league’s most respected owners, and he now sees his team unintentionally entering a rebuilding faze.
However, the Broncos don’t have a first-round pick entering the 2010 draft, having used it to acquire Wake Forest CB Alphonso Smith at the top of the second round in April. Josh McDaniels would be better served trading the talented Marshall, who might not produce for him, in order to acquire picks and select youthful players whom the Broncos’ new coach can mold into his own creation.
This is the only solution to an ever-deteriorating situation in Denver. Like Randy Moss in Oakland and Ochocinco in Cincinnati, good talent can spoil on bad teams.
– Solomon Wilcots