I'm surprised the news of Broncos WR Brandon Marshall's benching hasn't made for more discussion here at TST. The St. Louis Rams, starved for receivers, could use a talented guy like that, but the team's reluctance under GM Billy Devaney to take on players with, ahem, character issues has been notable.
Marshall certainly fits the bill on both counts: he's talented and has plenty of questions about his character. Let's map out the Marshall scenario, just for something to do on a lazy Saturday morning with the season all but over.
It's believed that the Broncos will most likely part ways with Marshall and his prima donna antics. Billy Devaney, in a recent chat with fans, pointed out that the Rams will have more tolerance for players who have some character issues, for lack of a better term, that would have kept them off the team this year. Why? I think much of it has to do with the fact that this is a young team and during the first year leadership of head coach Steve Spagnuolo they wanted to avoid the kind of players that could poison the atmosphere in the locker room. The strategy seems to have worked and Spagnuolo solidified his grip on the team, giving them more freedom in the players they pursue.
Of course, Marshall's not like some draftee that just had a run-in with campus security over a loud party. He's the kind of guy that could really be a headache for a team, a la his benching for refusing to play this week because of a sore hamstring. Not the kind of move that endears one to fans.
All of this is wild speculation...the kind of stuff that makes armchair general management so fun. The next hurdle for the Rams in acquiring Marshall would be the crazy free agency rules this year. If the league does operate with a cap, Marshall will be an unrestricted free agent, and the Rams would have to bid on him along with everyone else...and convince him to play in St. Louis. If the league has no cap, which is the most likely scenario at this point, then Marshall will be a restricted free agent. As Sando points out, the Donkeys would probably tender him and trade him. Remember, trades will play a bigger role in the offseason as tighter free agency rules make rosters much harder to reshape. If that's the case, the Rams would be sacrificing draft picks, something they just can't afford to be giving up as they rebuild. Unless, there's a player, but who could the Rams have that would entice such a trade and not leave them with another huge need to fill?
EIther way, it seems like a long shot for the Rams and Marshall, who has the kind of talent the Rams so desperately need at WR. Then again maybe that's a good thing for the Rams since it would take Marshall somewhere between two and three weeks to piss off the already suffering fan base.