Broncos' Marshall earning his future money

Production and winning equal big money in the NFL. Matt Bowen

Print This October 14, 2009, 02:31 PM EST

I find it strikingly ironic that Broncos WR Brandon Marshall is now in line to get a major pay bump in the near future after Denver owner Pat Bowlen dropped some major praise on his star wideout.

And, we know once those words are spoken that there is no going back.

Bowlen, who held his ground this summer when Marshall acted immaturely in practice and basically alienated himself from the rest of the team, said that Marshall is on schedule to get a “significant raise.”

Boy, does winning cure all in the NFL or what?

Just think back to the summer when countless columns were written—myself included—about the state of this franchise and Marshall. We all remember that shot from practice with Marshall acting, well, as unprofessional as you will see in this league.

The trade rumors began. The Jets were interested, and then it was the Bears, reuniting Marshall with Cutler and his strong arm. He was a lost cause and stuck in Josh McDaniels’ doghouse—for good.

But the Broncos took action—and Bowlen took action—suspending the star receiver in the preseason, ignoring his trade demands and turning their backs when he demanded more money—or else.

Basically, the Broncos called Marshall’s bluff. But they did hold onto him for a reason—because the guy can play football. And now, he is showing just that, leading the team in receptions with 24 and leading the squad in touchdowns with four. The team itself is fresh off another victory, their fifth in a row to start the season, and they did it in front of a huge TV audience against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Marshall was huge in that game, catching two touchdowns and showing the rest of the league why he deserves that big money—when he is on the field.

He will get it, and those off-the-field issues between Marshall and the front office will be swept under the rug. But, give Bowlen and his crew some credit, because they did hold their ground and made Marshall prove to them that he could be a team player and that he could operate under Josh McDaniels’ orders in that locker room.

Marshall did that—and he has done it well. It doesn’t hurt that his new QB, Kyle Orton, is playing as good as anyone in the NFL who doesn’t have the last name “Manning.” He is protecting the football and he is running McDaniels’ scheme in a way that is producing wins.

Plus, when Orton needs a play, he is going to look to No.15. You pay for that target. You pay big for that—no matter what happened in the past.

Especially when you are 5-0.

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