Could it be happening again in Denver? Reports surfaced this week that hypertalented (if sometimes troubling) Broncos WR Brandon Marshall, who missed part of but not all of the team’s mandatory minicamp last weekend, has asked owner Pat Bowlen for a trade. Marshall is looking for a new deal, so he could still be mollified, but you have to wonder if new head coach Josh McDaniels’ harsh handling of QB Jay Cutler is another motivating factor for Marshall. Maybe he doesn’t like how McDaniels is reflecting Bill Belichick’s shadow side. Or maybe he’s emboldened because McDaniels ultimately let Cutler talk his way out of town.
The Broncos can’t afford to lose Marshall. While he hasn’t been a good citizen often enough, he’s a talent, and that’s a commodity in short supply right now in Denver. With Cutler gone and TE Tony Scheffler also rumored to be leaving, new QB Kyle Ortom won’t have enough options. Eddie Royal is good, but he’s a complement, not a No. 1 target. The Broncos need to find a way to keep Marshall happy enough that he’ll stay around.
In what certainly appears to be a related move, Denver signed journeyman WR Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd has talent, but he’s bounced from Washington to San Francisco to Chicago and now to Denver without putting it all together. He was a decent target for Orton with the Bears last year, which is a plus, and his size would be a good contrast to Eddie Royal were Brandon Marshall to be unavailable. If the Broncos have designs on Lloyd replacing Marshall, they’ll quickly and painfully discover that not all Brandons are created equal.