Is it rumor season already? It must be. The Super Bowl is yet to be played but we've already got the St. Louis Rams involved in all kinds of trade rumors. Earlier this month it was Michael Vick. Today, it's Broncos WR Brandon Marshall. This isn't really a trade rumor; it's Denver Post columnist Dave Krieger tossing out a few options for the likelihood of Josh McDaniels trading another offensive playmaker with whom he doesn't see eye to eye.
Here's Krieger with his possibility for the Rams:
Marshall and the first-round pick from the Bears (No. 10 or 11) to the Rams for the first overall pick (which the Broncos use to select defensive tackle Ndamu- kong Suh) if Pat Bowlen can afford a first overall pick's contract.
That's not a bad little scenario for the Rams. A few factors to think about here.
- For a franchise needing to generate revenue, they get a proven playmaker at a position of need in Marshall and still get a top pick in the draft...a pick that would sign a contract much small than the kind of contract a first overall pick would sign. Matt Stafford signed a six-year, $72 million contract with more than $41 million in gauranteed money. Bills DE Aaron Maybin, the eleventh overall pick, signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract with $15 million guaranteed. Even Michael Crabtree, the tenth pick, only got $17 million in guaranteed money. Big difference just a few spots down, huh.
- Marshall is likely to be a restricted free agent, in the likelihood of a capless year. Trading him would mean that the Rams would almost certainly have to hammer out a new contract with him or risk pissing off the already touchy Marshall. How much could that be? The Cowboys gave Roy Williams $26 million in guaranteed money. Still, together, the guaranteed money for a Marshall contract and a 10 or 11th pick in the draft would still be less than what the team would pay for the first overall pick...and represent more certainty than giving that kind of money to a player who has never played a single NFL snap.
- Who would the Rams draft at 10 or 11? It certainly puts a QB in play for the team and plenty of other players.
- Attitude. It's still important to weigh how Marshall's personality would play in Spagnuolo's locker room. GM Billy Devaney has said that the team has more flexibility with players outside of the "four pillars" than they did for 2009, when they needed to establish the Rams' new identity. We covered this in an earlier post about Marshall. Then again, Marshall's a receiver, so you have to expect a little of the diva routine.