ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brandon
Marshall signed his $2.521 million tender from the Denver Broncos on
Tuesday, a move which could help facilitate a trade for the mercurial
The Broncos slapped a first-round
tender on Marshall, but teams were unwilling to part with a first-round
draft pick as compensation to lure the restricted free agent out of
Marshall posted his third consecutive
100-catch season last year and made his second straight trip to the Pro
Bowl despite several run-ins with coach Josh McDaniels.
He was suspended for insubordination
in training camp and again for the season finale after he was tardy for
treatment on a hamstring injury the team felt he was exaggerating.
Still, Marshall caught 101 passes last
season, including an NFL-record 21 in a loss at Indianapolis. His 10
touchdowns were a career best.
A team spokesman confirmed that
Marshall signed his tender on Tuesday but declined to comment further. A
message was left with Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, seeking
The Seattle Seahawks were the only
team that had Marshall in for a visit during free agency, flying him in
on a seaplane. The Seahawks, however, were unwilling to part with the
sixth pick in the upcoming draft to sign him, although they remain
interested in the physical 6-foot-4 receiver.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
acknowledged interest after the team's first minicamp practice Tuesday.
"We've done our homework and done our
research on that. Really, it's not in our hands," Carroll said. "The
Broncos have some things that they have to do. We're on alert here."
For all his talents on the field,
Marshall has had several run-ins with the law and visits to commissioner
Roger Goodell's office to discuss his off-the-field behavior. He was
suspended for the 2008 opener following a series of domestic disputes
involving a former girlfriend.
In February, an emotional Marshall
was a witness in the murder trial of Willie Clark, who was convicted in
the 2007 drive-by slaying of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.
Last summer, Marshall was suspended
by the team for throwing a tantrum at practice during training camp. The
source of his frustration was twofold: he was upset with the team's
medical staff for misdiagnosing a hip injury that required offseason
surgery and he was displeased with his contract.
Marshall earned $2.2 million last
season in the final year of the rookie deal he signed in 2006 as a
fourth-round draft pick out of Central Florida.
He wants to be compensated like other
elite wide receivers in the NFL, which would mean a pay hike of $6
million to $8 million annually.
Marshall was one of five restricted
free agents that Denver tendered last month, including NFL sacks leader
Elvis Dumervil and quarterback Kyle Orton. Marshall is the second one to
sign his tender, although offensive lineman Chris Kuper's signing
wasn't viewed as a means to a trade.
Orton hasn't signed his tender but is
participating in the Broncos' offseason training program, something
Marshall, Dumervil and tight end Tony Scheffler, another restricted free
agent hoping for a ticket out of Denver, have been skipping.
Orton would lose his top target if
the Broncos trade Marshall. The quarterback said recently that he was
working hard to develop a better rapport with third-year wideout Eddie
Royal, the forgotten man in Denver's revamped offense last season.