Despite the interest from the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins recently, the restricted free agent status of Brandon Marshall probably means he’ll end up playing for the Denver Broncos another season, if not more.
The last two seasons have been very good to the other B. Marshall (not to be confused with the New York Jets wide receiver), starting in 29 games for the Broncos and playing a big part in their Super Bowl run last season. A fifth round pick in 2012, he established himself as one of the best inside linebackers for the team with his 2014 performances, and as a legitimate starter in the NFL and more than that last season, playing in all 16 games, finishing with 101 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception.
The Broncos have already stopped on restricted free agent from leaving by surprisingly matching the offer C.J. Anderson got from the Miami Dolphins. Miami offered him $18 million over four seasons, Broncos matched. Anderson himself said he was surprised that they did. By giving Marshall the $2.553 million one-year offer, they promise that any team that tries to sign him will have to give up a second round pick, which might be difficult to give up.
Marshall wants a multiyear deal from the Broncos, who are being very patient and might be waiting to see if there are any developments in the quarterback market first. With just $1.6 million in cap space unless they make some inner moves, restructures to contracts and pay cuts or releases, it’s going to be difficult for them signing anyone else considering they also have draft picks to think of. That’s not good news for Marshall.
He’s been contemplating a holdout and skipping the team’s offseason program. If that happens, June 15 is the date to watch, because the Broncos will have the option of reducing his RFA tender to just $644,000, which would obviously mean Marshall isn’t going to play for them beyond next season, and who knows if it won’t push him even further towards a holdout. Kam Chancellor held out for two games last season but didn’t win anything with the Seattle Seahawks for his stubbornness. Marshall, most likely, even with a holdout, looks like he’ll play one season more in Denver before hitting free agency as an unrestricted FA in 2017.