In this (much too long) off-season, AP will periodically ask representatives from various teams to answer some key questions concerning situations that will affect the Chiefs either directly or indirectly. The goal? To better understand the upcoming season and the rationale behind the movement of certain teams or lack of movement in others.
Recently, Stephen (hoosierteacher) over at MileHighReport gave us some great input on our own Chiefs team as he assessed the Chiefs future in the Outsider's Take series. We also recently asked him to weigh in on the key question plaguing the Broncos at this point.
Q: Why would the Broncos even consider moving Brandon Marshall?
A: The answer might surprise you. For the last couple of years, Denver has had some embarrassments with off field issues. If you read the comments over at milehighreport, a lot of the fans seem to be saying that we want high character guys more than superstars. The thinking goes that a team of high quality MEN goes further than a team with a few elite stars.
Frankly, I don't think one could find many fans on our site who would take an Owens type person at WR. And every time we turn around, Marshall is embarrassing our team.
This is highly related to the Cutler issue. Thanks to our friends in the main stream press, many folks think we traded Cutler for Orton straight up, and for no reason. First, right after Shanahan was fired, Cutler was demanding a trade (before McDaniels was even brought in). Because Cutler refused to talk to the coach, he had to be traded. Denver gave up Cutler for two first round picks and a third, and we gave up a fifth round too and got Orton. As I mentioned in an earlier e-mail, Orton has a better record than Cutler and with a lesser offensive line and receivers. (BTW, a quick read on Bus, Cutler's agent, shows this pattern of behavior for years).
Enter Marshall. During his last suspension, he stayed at Cutler's home. They were good friends, and I can understand that he is upset that Cutler is gone. I don't think Denver wants Marshall gone, but Marshall has made it clear that he wants to be traded. This may be hard to do, as Marshall has recently had hip surgery. In fact, some folks suspect his hip surgery is why he is holding out for a trade or a major extension.
In my opinion, Denver can do without Marshall. Is he good? Yes, very. But he is always a risk to be suspended or to cost the team. (Last year, teammates had to swarm him in the endzone to prevent him from a touchdown celebration. He was going to pull a glove out of his pants, don it, and give a "fist in the air" salute to celebrate Obama's victory).
Many of us agree that our best receiving option remains Eddie Royal. We recall with delight how he played #1 WR against the Raiders (vs CB Deangelo Hall) and torched him play after play (Marshall was suspended). Royal continues to be a dangerous WR on any down. We also still have Stokley, one of the best slot receivers in the game. The rest of our supporting cast (including TEs like Scheffler and Graham) are great in the passing game.
Now the question is, do we trade him or bench him? We likely won't get much in a trade. His trade value is far below his talent level. His hip, his arm (which he injured in an off field incident - another story of foolishness), and his suspension issues are a big risk for any team. He faces court again at the start of this year. If we cut him, we don't lose much cap room (he's at the end of his rookie contract). If we bench him, he continue to be a negative distraction. A recent poll at MHR showed most fans leaning towards wanting him out (which even surprised me).
So the argument for trading him might be that we get something for him, even if it isn't much.