Friday, August 28, 2009
Marshall's suspension has been brewing
By Bill Williamson
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
This has been coming long before the MarshallGate tapes were released.
The video tape was simply the final straw. It was public excuse for the Denver Broncos to drop the hammer on Brandon Marshall.
Who could argue with the team's decision to suspend the Pro Bowl perceiver for conduct detrimental to the club? Who would want this guy on the field after watching his antics in practice Wednesday?
Marshall was filmed walking while his teammates were running, he punted a ball instead of handing it to a team employee and he swatted away a pass during a catching drill. The guy was making a joke out of an NFL practice.
If he pulled this type of move in a Pop Warner practice, the coaches would have yanked him and that's what the Broncos did.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Marshall will be suspended through the preseason and he could be reinstated by the team in time for the Broncos' Sept. 13 season opener at Cincinnati if his behavior improves.
Denver's decision to suspend Marshall is about a lot more than damaging videotape.
Marshall has been heading toward a suspension for more than a week. Marshall returned to Denver, after an Aug. 14 acquittal in an Atlanta misdemeanor battery trial. Marshall had a meeting with team officials during his first day back at the facility and reportedly asked for a pay raise and reiterated his desire to be traded. After the requests were rebuffed, Marshall was reportedly disengaged at practice on Aug. 19.
Marshall then told media he didn't know Josh McDaniels' playbook yet and that's why he was running with the scout team. Still, Marshall was running McDaniels' plays fine earlier in camp. Then, he wasn't brought to Seattle for a preseason game last weekend.
Marshall has taken every misguided step possible in this process. He thought he was in control. The Broncos showed him he is not. Now, Marshall looks ridiculous. He looks silly to every other NFL team as well. Who would give a first-round pick plus a mid-round pick (Denver’s asking price) for a player who disrupts practice, has a history of off-field issues and wants to become one of the highest paid receivers in the game?
I don't see a lot of teams lining up. Do you?
The Broncos would trade Marshall if they got the right price, but the team is fine with having Marshall sit.
The Broncos stumbled with the Jay Cutler situation. But this is not similar to the Cutler situation. Marshall is completely at fault and the Broncos are handling it the right way. They are showing the other players in the locker room that such buffoonery will not be tolerated. The Broncos are taking control of the locker room with this move.
Really, this is not the worst thing in the world for Marshall. He has two weeks to get his act together. NFL players are paid in the regular season, so he is not going to lose much money if he reforms and returns in time for the season opener.
Perhaps this is one last chance given to Marshall by the Broncos. Still, Denver will not hesitate to extend the suspension if Marshall continues to act out.