by Matt Bowen
January 29, 02010
Is it already time to start talking about Brandon Marshall?
According to reports, the wide receiver expects to be traded once free agency begins March 5, and despite whatever we think about Josh McDaniels — the young Broncos coach — if he thinks his team is better off without Marshall’s production, well, then we shrug our shoulders and move on.
In my opinion, it will be the Broncos’ loss — and a big gain for another team in the league.
Let’s be honest here and talk about production in the NFL — because it does talk. Red flags, off-the-field issues, court dates, etc., don’t really factor into making a play for a guy in the offseason.
We’ve seen it play out too many times to believe that a team is willing to give up on a guy who had over 20 receptions against the AFC champion Colts. Marshall is that good when it comes to beating man coverage, beating the jam vs. a Cover 2 look, and when he gets upfield, he’s a mismatch for about 95 percent of the safeties in the NFL.
But is he a real problem, or is this just a case of a battle between Marshall and McDaniels?
We can go back and look at the suspension during training camp and the benching at the end of the season. That’s fine, and it does speak to the relationship between a player and the head coach. But I’m more concerned about what happened in the middle, when Marshall showed us that when he can get into the flow of a game plan, he’s nearly unstoppable.
And because of that, there will be a team waiting — with open arms and a new contract — if the Broncos go the trade route and ship him out of town.
The Ravens are a hot name, but then again, they are every offseason when it comes to names like Marshall and Anquan Boldin of the Cardinals. And both of those names sound like a pretty good fit with Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.
But that’s just speculation, and until we hear that the Broncos are actively shopping Marshall around, it’s pretty much all we can do — speculate.
The bottom line is still very basic: Marshall can play. Red flags are what they are, but in this business, they take a back seat when a guy can routinely beat his man off the line of scrimmage, use his physical strength and speed to separate down the field and score in the red zone.
Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41