Is the pressure already getting to Brandon Marshall in Miami?

MIAMI - AUGUST 14: Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall  of the Miami Dolphins warms up prior to playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

It was only one scrimmage.

It was only one preseason game.

The head coach isn’t even worried, so why should anyone else be?

If those who follow the Dolphins want to take any of the above stances when it comes to Brandon Marshall’s recent struggles in South Beach, I wouldn’t blame them. After all, it’s only the second week of the preseason and we’re still weeks away from the games actually counting.

But given his history with behavioral issues, why wouldn’t people be concerned?

Marshall followed up a poor showing in a scrimmage two weeks ago by dropping the only two passes that were thrown to him during Miami’s first preseason game last weekend. Then, and stop me if you’ve already heard this one, during a practice session on Monday he reportedly dropped a pass in the end zone and then punted it over a fence. He proceeded to stand by himself, sulking on the sidelines afterwards.

Head coach Tony Sparano shrugged off the kicking incident by saying, “I didn’t see it, but I got bigger fish to fry…If he drops them and he gets pissed off at himself about dropping them, I’m okay with that.”

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Winning is a cure-all, just ask Brandon Marshall

If there’s one thing that continues to ring true time and time again is that winning is a cure-all in sports.

Take Brandon Marshall and the Denver Broncos for example.

Just over a month ago, Marshall was suspended for acting like a child during a training camp practice in which he punted balls instead of handing them to a ball boy, swatted down passes instead of catching them, and was an overall distraction to his teammates.

Fast forward to the scene following the Broncos’ exciting 17-10 win over the Cowboys on Sunday in which Marshall walked up to the podium during Josh McDaniels’ post game speech and embraced the first-year head coach and you wonder what the hell is going on in Denver.

“You never heard me say anything about him coaching or what he brings to the organization,” Marshall said.

“Our team loves him, we love him and I think he loves being part of this team,” added McDaniels.

Well, aren’t we the Brady Bunch all of a sudden.

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Schefter: Broncos, Marshall talking contract extension

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos have opened discussions with receiver Brandon Marshall about a contract extension.

The potential new deal would put Marshall’s salary more in line with some of the game’s other highly paid receivers.

Due to the fact he has been unable to get a long-term deal, Marshall has been clinging to the hopes that Denver would deal him. But now, in a new approach, the deal Denver might make is not for Marshall, but rather with Marshall.

The fact that they are even talking is an encouraging sign, sources said, and there is some optimism that a deal could be struck that could keep Marshall in Denver long term.

It’s a little odd that the Broncos would open contract extension talks with Marshall right after suspending him for insubordination. One would have thought that they would have waited until the season started to see if Marshall continued his good behavior before talking about possibly paying him like Larry Fitzgerald.

But this is a good sign that the Broncos and Marshall will eventually get something done. Denver can’t afford to lose another prime offensive talent and once Marshall gets paid, he has nothing to complain about. (Until he demands a trade to a contender, of course.)

Boy, this has worked out about as well as Marshall owners could have hoped (so far). Marshall still has a few hurdles to overcome, but his attitude has reportedly been great, so he is in line to play a significant role in Week 1. I think he’s a safe start against a very suspect Bengals team. He’s still somewhat of a risky player to have on your roster, but this is a huge turnaround from where his stock was headed 7-10 days ago.

Broncos lift Marshall’s suspension

According to a report by the Denver Post, the Broncos have lifted disgruntled receiver Brandon Marshall’s suspension.

The Broncos formally turned in the paperwork to the league office Sunday to lift wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s suspension.

Marshall was at the team’s Dove Valley complex for meetings and took part in a practice as well.

We’ll see if Marshall can turn this issue into a positive one and get his career back on track. It’s a shame for a player to have that much potential and waste on such a horrible attitude.

Of course, Marshall could have gone into training camp after his hip healed and been a model citizen in order to avoid all of this. But he didn’t – he decided to act like a child and sink his trade value to an all-time low.

Time will tell if the light bulb went off in his head.

Broncos suspend Brandon Marshall

ESPN’s Ed Werder is reporting that Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels has informed disgruntled receiver Brandon Marshall that he has been suspended.

Here’s some of the highlights from Werder’s report on ESPN’s “First Take” on Friday morning:

– The suspension stems from Marshall’s antics at a practice on Wednesday morning in which he punted balls after catching them (instead of handing them to ball boys), swatting away a pass that was thrown to him and for general insubordination.

– Werder presumes that Marshall has been suspended without pay, but the length of the suspension has yet to be confirmed.

– Werder doesn’t believe that this suspension will amp up trade talks, as the Broncos will have trouble getting fair compensation for Marshall’s talent. Denver reportedly is seeking a first and a fourth round draft pick.

I don’t know how Marshall will respond to this suspension, but if he were smart, he’d take the opportunity to wipe the slate clean. He’s not going to get what he wants from the Broncos (or any other team for that matter) if he continues to act in the manner he has. Call me crazy, but teams generally don’t like it when players have multiple off-field issues, bitch about their contract, admit to not learning the playbook and then are insubordinate in practice.

If he wants to butt heads with McDaniels or the Broncos, Marshall is going to continue to have these problems. If he owns up to his actions, then maybe the two sides can come to some kind of resolution. But just like a kid who stomps his feet and draws on the walls in an effort to get what he wants, Marshall is going to find getting that new contract a bit difficult if he continues on the path he’s on.

This is getting ugly. Obviously, this kind of news will continue to depress Marshall’s stock. He’s regularly available in the 4th round of fantasy drafts, and as this news permeates the public, I wouldn’t be surprised if it dropped even further. Likewise, this is going to hurt Kyle Orton’s stock, as he would benefit from having as many options as possible in the passing game.

Conversely, Eddie Royal’s stock has been on a slow and steady march upwards ever since Marshall’s injury and attitude became public. He’s been going in the early 5th in 12-team leagues, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually overtakes Marshall in the next couple of weeks. Tony Scheffler, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley will also be helped by Marshall’s potential absence.

If the Marshall and the team can’t put this behind them, then the Broncos needs to move Marshall to rid themselves of the headache. Maybe they aren’t going to get a pick commensurate to his talent, but that’s not his true value. Teams trading for Marshall can see how he’s acting and his personality and work ethic have to be taken into account.

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