With the Jets reportedly considering a trade for Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall, the Broncos reportedly will be keeping an eye on the things the Jets say and do on the topic.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the Broncos are “carefully monitoring any public comments made” by the Jets for evidence of tampering.
But the Jets are smart enough (then again, if they’re interested in Marshall, maybe they aren’t) to realize that they can’t make any public comments about Marshall. And the Broncos are smart enough (then again, because they traded Jay Cutler, maybe they aren’t) to realize that the Jets are smart enough not to provide any smoking-gun evidence.
So what’s going on here? Our guess is that the report from Werder is a warning to the Jets to refrain from engaging in any private comments that would constitute tampering.
And that’s not simply paranoia on the part of Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who nevertheless fidgets enough while speaking to come off as someone who thinks everyone is out to get him. McDaniels was starting his first season as offensive coordinator of the Patriots when receiver Deion Branch held out due to unhappiness with the final year of his rookie contract, and ultimately was traded to Seattle.
After doing the deal with the Seahawks, the Pats filed tampering charges against the Jets.
So that Belichick/Pioli versus Mangini/Tannenbaum vibe likely has carried over to McDaniels, with the former Pats lieutenant leery of what the Jets might be doing behind the scenes to make Marshall aware of what, hypothetically, he would be paid if, hypothetically, he were traded to New York.