Ravens may explore trade for Broncos' Marshall

Two NFL sources said the Baltimore Ravens may revisit the idea of trading for unhappy Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall(notes) if veteran Derrick Mason(notes) doesn't return from his sudden retirement.

This comes after the Ravens were unsuccessful in getting veteran Drew Bennett(notes) to return. Bennett passed a physical last week, but then complained about an old knee injury before deciding to not play.

Bennett's decision and Mason's retirement earlier this month have left the Ravens in a lurch at wide receiver. The Ravens think Mason's retirement was partly a ploy to help get more money from the team. (Mason had asked to renegotiate his deal earlier in the offseason.)

"The Ravens need a real receiver; they always have," one league source said. "They got by last season with Mason and [Mark] Clayton because the running game was good and the defense was awesome. It was the usual formula. But they have to get somebody in there or the window is going to close on the [Ray] Lewis Era.

"Plus, they have to help out [second-year quarterback Joe] Flacco."

The Ravens have declined to comment. However, team history would indicate they aren't likely to make the deal. General manager Ozzie Newsome doesn't like to give up high draft picks, could be concerned about Marshall's history of off-field problems and likely wouldn't want to pay the large contract Marshall is seeking.

Marshall is one of several unhappy wide receivers. In addition, Cincinnati's Chad Ochocinco(notes) and Cleveland's Braylon Edwards(notes) are reportedly hoping to be traded. However, the Bengals have steadfastly refused to deal Ochocinco and the Browns are unlikely to trade Edwards to a division rival.

That leaves Marshall, who asked for a trade earlier this offseason, as the most likely candidate if the Ravens are able to make a move. The Broncos have been coy about dealing Marshall, indicating to several media outlets that they aren't shopping Marshall but will listen to offers for him.