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Brandon Marshall Suspended by Denver Broncos

Broncos Receiver Suspended for NFL Preseason

Brandon Marshall has been suspended by the Denver Broncos for “conduct detrimental to the team”, after news footage surfaced of Brandon Marshall’s recent insubordination at the Broncos practice facility.

Before practice on Tuesday, Brandon Marshall was seen walking through running drills and batting away balls that he was meant to catch. Later, Marshall took a football and punted it away in disgust. This was all caught on camera, forcing Brandon Marshall to go onto ESPN on Thursday to defend himself. Meanwhile, one Denver Broncos source labelled Marshall’s insubordination as a “display of unprofessionalism”. Marshall, for his part, told ESPN that the tape took his conduct out of context and said most of what happened on tape was before practice.

Brandon Marshall’s Fantasy Football Impact

I would stay away from Brandon Marshall in redraft leagues like he’s the plague. I know that Brandon Marshall has been a nice steal in fantasy drafts the last two years, but that can change overnight. Early word is the Broncos have indicated that, if this preseason suspension doesn’t cause Brandon Marshall to behave better, they will consider suspending the talented receiver during the regular season.

Because of his provocative statements in the season and this latest taped incident, the Denver Broncos would be justified in suspending Brandon Marshall without pay for games in the season. Given Brandon Marshall’s history of self-destructive behavior, I don’t think it’s out of the question that a “T.O-Eagles” situation might happen here. Fantasy owners don’t want to be anywhere nearby when one of those happens.

Owners shouldn’t hit the panic button too fast. The suspension on hand can only be for four games, according to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s uncertain if “four games” means two preseason games and two regular season games, or four regular season games. But as one anonymous NFL GM was quoted as saying, this isn’t an isolated incident: Brandon Marshall has a history here.

That means this might not be over. Marshall didn’t respond well to being moved to 2nd team, so what happens if he doesn’t respond well to the suspension?

Denver Broncos Hold the Hammer

I’ve been quite vocal that I think Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos Front Office have been ham-fisted (and downright stupid) in their handling of the 2009 offseason. You just don’t trade a 25-year old Pro Bowl quarterback with no criminal history – any flaws in their game can be solved by the time they reach their prime. And when you have traded your most talented player, you should try to avoid offending your secondmost talented player.

That being said, Brandon Marshall is no genius himself, and he’s made his bad situation worse with his childish antics. Brandon Marshall demanded a trade soon after Jay Cutler was traded. Marshall has claimed several times – including to ESPN on Thursday – that Broncos management (ie Pat Bolen) promised to trade him.

Now that the season is approaching and no trade seems to be in the works, Brandon Marshall is acting up, hoping to force the Broncos’ hand. That’s a really bad way to force a trade, though, since you drive your price down, while offending the guys you expect to accommodate you with a trade.

Broncos’ Hand Forced by Brandon Marshall

What Brandon Marshall has forced the Denver Broncos to do is take disciplinary action, since Marshall is flaunting the Josh McDaniels “New Sheriff in Town” program. We’ve seen this in the past: the Broncos hold the hammer. They can suspsend Brandon Marshall without pay and he just has to sit out the season.

It hasn’t come to that yet, but Brandon Marshall has to understand that he’s given the Broncos Management plenty of ammunition, if ever they have to justify such a suspension. Players have been suspended for being less insubordinate.

Denver Broncos Public Relations

I would hate to be in Broncos P.R. these days. The one pressure the Denver Broncos and Josh McDaniels have now is to win quickly. That might be why they will hesitate to suspend Marshall in the regular season. Had Josh McDaniels came into Denver and tried to turn around the franchise with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall on the same page, Broncos fans were likely to give the kid one year’s grace period, knowing how bad that defense was last season.

But after trading one of the team’s two real stars and then suspending the other, that puts the pressure on the new Denver Broncos leadership to show the fans they know what they’re doing – quickly. Right now, they have an inferior quarterback throwing to less talented receivers than last year, while their defense (even if improved) is still considered one of the worst in the NFL.

This could get ugly quick, and if it does, the pressure in Denver is going to mount a lot quicker than it would have otherwise.

Brandon Marshall and Fantasy Football 2009

Once again, if you draft this weekend, don’t touch Brandon Marshall. There is a chance you are drafting zero production in the 4th or 5th round, which hamstrings your fantasy team all year. It’s likely that Brandon Marshall will see the light and eventually get right with the Denver Broncos, but he’s now gone through a training camp and preseason with little real coordination with Kyle Orton. So when Brandon Marshall returns to the team, it’s only reasonable to assume the two aren’t going to be on the same page immediately.

Not only will Brandon Marshall have an less talented quarterback throwing to him (a guy who can’t get it down the field as well as Cutler), but he’s not likely to be a big part of the offensive game plan, until Marshall can show he can be trusted. Whether that trust can form now is a question.

Even if Brandon Marshall got his wish and got an immediate trade, he will have missed training camp with his new team and will take time to catch on to their system – Brandon Marshall was infamous for saying he still hasn’t learned most of Josh McDaniels’ playbook. We saw what happened when Roy Williams was traded to the Dallas Cowboys last year midseason.

Granted, Roy Williams isn’t as talented of a receiver as Brandon Marshall, but receivers and quarterbacks, more than any two other positions in football, require practice and repetition to get their timing down.

Brandon Marshall Keeper League Outlook

If you’re particularly far-sighted in your keeper league or dynasty league outlook, you might consider trading for Brandon Marshall as this situation gets more desperate for the owner in your league who has him. Brandon Marshall is still young and I’m sure another team will take a chance on him in 2010, making Brandon Marshall a big part of their offense. But that’s a year away right now, so only trade for Brandon Marshall if you have the depth to cover any unexpected new suspensions of Brandon Marshall by the Denver Broncos Organization.



This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 10:41 amand is filed under Fantasy Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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