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Doubts emerge regarding Bengals' interest in Brandon Marshall

On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Bengals could become participants in the Brandon Marshall sweepstakes.  Specifically, Schefter said that the Bengals were discussing internally the possibility of pursuing the Broncos’ restricted free agent receiver, who carries only a first-round tender.

James Walker of ESPN.com gingerly sprinkles water on his colleague’s theory, explaining that “thinking about a player and actually making a trade are two vastly different things.”  Walker points out that giving up a first-round pick and paying Marshall a contract in the range of $30 million to $40 million would not mesh with the Bengals’ historical approach to player acquisition.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer has offered a more cynical view, suggesting that the rumor reported by Schefter is “mostly a smoke screen” that is aimed at “driv[ing] up the price with Seattle.”

Frankly, we’re not sure why the Bengals would help the Broncos get a better draft pick for Marshall, or why the Bengals who held Marshall get more money from Seattle.  And we doubt that Schefter would be reporting so unequivocally that the Bengals are discussing Marshall if in fact they aren’t.

The more likely explanation is that the Bengals are trying to drive down the demands of the other receivers whom they currently are considering — Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens.  Bryant made nearly $10 million in 2009; he likely is looking for a deal that averages close to that number.  And Owens consistently has been able to get big-money contracts even in one-team bidding wars, under the notion that Owens won’t be “happy” with his new team unless he’s making the kind of money that causes him to conclude that his skills are being properly respected.

So we think that the Bengals are considering Brandon Marshall in order to let Bryant and Owens know that, for the kind of cash they presumably want, the Bengals are more inclined to pay it to a guy who is younger and, frankly, better than either of them.

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20 Responses to “Doubts emerge regarding Bengals' interest in Brandon Marshall”
  1. BOO3LEGS says: Mar 8, 2010 9:57 AM

    Doubts are emerging about anything posted on this site.

  2. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Mar 8, 2010 9:58 AM

    Owens will be in Chicago bet that

  3. JP says: Mar 8, 2010 10:02 AM

    Gotta say, I think the logic here is pretty solid.

  4. gopher says: Mar 8, 2010 10:03 AM

    How dare you question an insider from ESPN?

  5. BroncoBourque says: Mar 8, 2010 10:09 AM

    It makes no sense to suggest that the Bengals were showing interest to help the Broncos, a team in their own conference, at the expense of the Seahawks. It makes equally little sense to suggest that the Bengals would show interest in Marshall to try to drive up his price in negotiations with the Seahawks.
    I think Florio has got it right this time, if the Bengals interest isn’t legit, it is for their own barganing power with other free agents WRs and has nothing to do with Marshall’s negotiations with other teams.
    It is also worth pointing out that the Broncos wouldn’t need the Bengals help in getting a better pick. If they do nothing and just let Seatle try to sign him, they get the 6th pick. If the Seahawks don’t want to pay that for Marshall I am sure the Broncos will gladly scratch them off the list of teams competing for his services.

  6. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 8, 2010 10:10 AM

    Pats will make a deal with McD for Marshall.

  7. dklein82 says: Mar 8, 2010 10:11 AM

    Just got off the phone with Schefter… the Bengals are working a deal to get Marshall, TO and Bryant. Interestingly, there’s more…. they’re trying to get disgruntled Moss from New England as well.

  8. davidmp2 says: Mar 8, 2010 10:19 AM

    I’m just amused that TJ Houshmandzadeh will be a No. 2 again. Brilliant!

  9. The_One_Brent says: Mar 8, 2010 10:19 AM

    The Bengals need to make the move for Brandon Marshall. It would change a huge perception about the Management and the direction the team is headed. It is tough to make a trade like this happen but to not do everything to make it happen is a let down to the City that built this Stadium.
    I know Mike Brown doenst read this or any other Football related communication but if he is he can hold me to the below statement:
    I will purchase 2 Season Tickets and 2 Marshall Jerseys if this trade happens!!

  10. milehiclown says: Mar 8, 2010 10:20 AM

    Great post. The Bungles have ZERO reason to drive up the price for the Seahawks. Not the same division–not even the same CONFERENCE. Terrible logic form Reedy.
    And, as an aside, the fact that this move “[does] not mesh with the Bengals’ historical approach” should be a reason to DO IT.
    They have sucked FOREVER. Change. Or keep sucking.

  11. Manbearpig says: Mar 8, 2010 10:22 AM

    And we doubt that Schefter would be reporting so unequivocally that the Bengals are discussing Marshall if in fact they aren’t.
    Yeah, no kidding. I mean, the dude has never been wrong, much like his other ESPN colleagues. Like that schism report in Minnesota. That was right on the money.
    And we doubt that Schefter would be reporting so unequivocally that there was a schism in Minnesota if in fact there wasn’t.

  12. Jungle Juice says: Mar 8, 2010 10:25 AM

    Hey, we don’t need them. We got Moonshine Jones!

  13. wryly1 says: Mar 8, 2010 10:27 AM

    All thre are guys with either character issues or have had difficulty adhering to a team concept – thus making all of them potential ‘fits’ for the Bubgles (pun intended).

  14. sullijo says: Mar 8, 2010 10:53 AM

    If Boldin and a 5th round pick went for a 3rd and 4th, why would any team give a 1st round for Marshall?
    You can argue Marshall is better and younger, but he also is one strike from a 1 year suspension. Boldin plays hurt, Marshall doesn’t.
    Seems like a 3rd round pick is about right….
    Also, I can’t see Marshall playing in Seattle….he needs much more publicity than he’ll get there from the East Coast/ National press….

  15. nflisking says: Mar 8, 2010 10:55 AM

    The Bungles just don’t get it. Will they ever wise up and start building a team around quality players with no off-the-field baggage? Its no wonder they haven’t won a playoff game in who knows how long – they just continue to suck!

  16. CE11 says: Mar 8, 2010 11:26 AM

    Florio thanks for not giving a reader credit for telling you this info when you posted that the Bengals were interested…jerk

  17. shaunypoo says: Mar 8, 2010 12:28 PM

    Yes, no team has ever won that had a player with baggage.

  18. purplepuzzyeatrz says: Mar 8, 2010 2:27 PM

    IT WILL SURPRISE ALL OF YOU WHEN NEITHER THE BUNGLES OR THE QUEERHAWKS ARE IN THE MIX…..LOOK TO MARSHELL BEING TRADED TO FLORIDA…….

  19. 1137vine says: Mar 8, 2010 10:19 PM

    “If Boldin and a 5th round pick went for a 3rd and 4th, why would any team give a 1st round for Marshall?”
    do you take stupid pills or do you really need an explanation?

  20. olbuzz says: Mar 9, 2010 5:11 AM

    Boldin plays hurt or he don’t play. He’s always hurt. Bengals will sign one of those WR’s and draft another at 21. They just saved 6mil cuttin Coles. Sign Bryant or Owens for one yr. with an option. Or you give the oick for Marshall he’s worth it. Short term him to. Somthings up with Brown.. he has been investing of late. Don’t be surprised

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