Shutdown Corner - NFL

Boy, this Brandon Marshall(notes) thing escalated quickly. This really got out of hand fast. Just a few days ago, Brandon Marshall's discontent rated about a three-and-a-half on the interesting scale, and was something you maybe wanted to keep an eye on for later.

Yesterday, though, things jumped up a notch. All the sudden, Marshall's agent says the team has agreed to trade him, and Marshall's saying his goodbyes to the city of Denver on his website. Somewhere, Jay Cutler's(notes) watching this unfold and thinking, "I wish it was that easy when I did it."

Here's Marshall's farewell to the troops:

To whom it may concern. Life is filled with change, and where I am in my life now change is probably best. It’s hard leaving an organization ran by one of the best owners in all of sports, and someone who’s been there for me through my ups and downs. The hardest thing was hearing Mr. B wish me luck in the future, but we both came to the conclusion that this is probably the best thing for me to grow on and off the field.

I thank the Denver fans who embraced my emotion and play on the field and showing me love every time I step outside my door.

I should note, though, that head coach Josh McDaniels says he expects to see Marshall at training camp. So either someone's not telling the truth, or there's a bit of a disconnect between Broncos ownership and McDaniels. I would really hope, for the Broncos' sake, that the latter isn't true, given the magnitude of these decisions.

Anyway, it seems like Marshall is pretty close to gone, which I still think is a bad deal for the Broncos (here's some disagreement). With a guy like Marshall, whose on-field production is unmatched, but who also has shown an inability to co-exist with our nation's laws, you just can't get equal value for him in a trade. History has proven that dabbling in criminal behavior seriously lowers your trade value.

Look at it this way: If the Broncos pay Marshall and hang onto him, one of two things happens: He either stays healthy and out of handcuffs and is an extremely productive player, or he ends up suspended or in court again, in which case, the Broncos don't get the value they should.

If the Broncos trade Marshall, though, they also don't get the value they should. Period.

So the only possible way to maximize what you get from him is to roll the dice, keep him around, and hope you get the best out of him. In any other scenario, the Broncos lose.

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