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Saturday, March 6, 2010
Marshall's situation will be a process

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Brandon Marshall is getting the royal treatment in Seattle as his visit there commences.

However, don’t expect a fast resolution. Just because Seattle struck quickly to arrange a visit for the restricted free agent receiver, it doesn’t mean he will sign quickly. This situation may percolate for a few days or longer.

There are going to be layers to this situation. First, Seattle has to feel comfortable with Marshall. That is the purpose of this visit. He has had several off-field issues, so Seattle has make sure it has a good feeling about Marshall. It has a good start because former Denver assistants Jeremy Bates, Jedd Fisch and Pat McPherson are on Seattle’s staff. They know Marshall and they like him.

Then, if Seattle does get a good feel for Marshall, it will start to negotiate a long-term deal. It wouldn’t make sense for Seattle to deal for Marshall and not give him an extension with just one year remaining on his contract. The contract discussions could take a while. Like any team dealing with Marshall, Seattle will likely pursue contract protection in case Marshall gets in trouble in the future.

Finally, if Seattle gets through the first two steps, it will be time to negotiate trade terms with Denver. Don’t expect Seattle to sign Marshall to a classic offer sheet for the first-round tender. Seattle very likely won’t want to surrender the No. 6 overall draft pick. Seattle also has the No. 14 pick, which was acquired from Denver last year on draft day when the Broncos traded for the chance to take cornerback Alphonso Smith at No. 37.

Seattle could be willing to trade a second draft pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if receiver Deion Branch was part of a deal. He flourished in New England when Denver coach Josh McDaniels was there and he could help in McDaniels’ system.

Still, there is a lot to hash out and it could take awhile. Seattle may not feel any urgency to finalize this deal until another team comes forward with interest. Thus far, that has not happened. Baltimore was expected to be interested, but that interest probably waned since the Ravens traded for Anquan Boldin on Friday.