Broncos (for now) receiver Brandon Marshall has cleaned out his locker in Denver, but he’s still talking like a guy who wants to put his stuff back in there.
Appearing Monday on 104.3 the Fan in Denver, Marshall heaped praise on coach Josh McDaniels and owner Pat Bowlen.
“I’m nothing but 100 percent commitment to the Denver Broncos, to my teammates,” Marshall said. “I have nothing but great things to say about Coach McDaniels, this organization. . . . Mr. B is probably one of the best owners in all of sports. Coach McDaniels . . . if it wasn’t for him, the growth in me this year wouldn’t be there.”
So does Marshall want to return to the Broncos in 2010?
“I love my teammates, and I don’t think the decision is up to me,” he said. Pressed as to whether he’d want to return if it were up to him, he danced around the subject and he said he loves the team but he never provided the simple one-word answer that would have left no doubt.
And so it appears that Marshall, who admits that he was 20 minutes late for treatment on Friday and that he thereafter was told he’d be deactivated for the final game of the season, is merely trying to say all the right things in the hopes that someone else will give him the contract that the Broncos apparently aren’t willing to put on the table.
Though one of the hosts presumed that Mike Shanahan will make a play for Marshall if/when Shanahan becomes head coach of the Redskins, keep in mind that Shanahan supposedly was plotting to cut Marshall last year. (Chris Mortensen of ESPN recently tweaked that stance from cut to “trade”.) As a result, the most obvious candidate to pursue Marshall is the Bears, where the front office and the coaching staff must do all they can this offseason to set quarterback Jay Cutler up for success.
But the Bears already have traded their 2010 first-round pick to Denver, in order to get Cutler. As a result, G.M. Jerry Angelo would have to come up with some other compensation package if they now want Marshall. And we think that the Broncos will be more interested in sending Marshall to another city, in order to prevent Cutler and Marshall from finding success together and, in turn, making the Broncos look foolish for letting them both go.
In the end, however, the Bears might be the only team interested. For now, Marshall seems ready to say and do anything he can to get other teams to the table.