The beginning of the end of Brandon Marshall's brief tenure in Denver appears to be under way. The Broncos star receiver posted a message on his personal Web site Tuesday, indicating he has met with team owner Pat Bowlen and it was mutually concluded it was best for the two sides to part ways.
The post came on the heels of a report earlier in the day where his agent, Kennard McGuire, confirmed that a trade had been requested. Marshall did not specifically mention a trade request, but clearly refers to leaving the organization.
|Jack Dempsey / Associated Press|
|Brandon Marshall was voted to his first Pro Bowl last year.|
"Life is filled with change, and where I am in my life now change is probably best," the post on bmarshall15.com read. "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."
Bowlen hasn't said whether he'll honor Marshall's trade request, and McDaniels says he expects Marshall to report to camp at the end of next month rather than follow Jay Cutler out of town.
Cutler was traded to Chicago in an acrimonious split several weeks after McDaniels talked about bringing Matt Cassel over from New England for a reunion in Denver.
Earlier Tuesday, McGuire told FOX31 sports in Denver the Broncos would try to accomodate Marshall's request.
"Yes there was a meeting between Brandon, and Mr. [Pat] Bowlen. There was a request for a trade. Mr. Bowlen has said that ownership will do everything in it's power to accommodate his wishes," McGuire said.
McGuire has not returned messages from The Associated Press.
It was first reported by Adam Schefter on the Broncos' flagship radio network, KOA in Denver, that Marshall requested a trade during a meeting Friday with Bowlen.
Marshall, who skipped Denver's mandatory minicamp last weekend, walked out of the meeting with several boxes of belongings and didn't speak with reporters as he drove out of the team's parking lot.
Marshall, who was supposed to attend the minicamp even though he's rehabbing from March 31 hip surgery, faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines for going AWOL. He also skipped three weeks of voluntary workouts while rehabbing under the care of his personal doctors back home in Orlando, Fla.
Marshall's issue with the team is primarily about money, but he also has cited a lack of trust in Denver's medical staff for not wanting to rehab at team headquarters following what he has called a misdiagnosis of his hip injury last year.
In a recent posting on his Web site, Marshall wrote: "It's kind of funny now but some of my coaches thought I was getting 'big-headed' and just didn't want to practice but I needed some fine tuning.
"What made last year so weird was that I got two MRIs, one in camp and the second around week six and was told nothing was wrong but come to find out THERE WAS A BIT OF A PROBLEM after all," Marshall added. "LOL. I guess that's part of the business. So after all that, I'm now even more excited about playing this season at 100%. This year I can help my team more and hopefully we can get to the playoffs."
Marshall's beef is primarily financial.
He's scheduled to make $2.2 million in 2009 and he wants more money, befitting a player who has posted consecutive 100-catch seasons and went to the Pro Bowl after last season. But he has health and legal issues that leave him with little, if any, leverage.
Will he return from hip surgery the same player who averaged 103 receptions, 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns each of the last two seasons?
And will he even be available for a full season?
Although the league decided Marshall won't face a suspension over his arrest in Atlanta this spring for fighting with his new fiancee, Marshall faces a trial later this summer on two misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an altercation with his former girlfriend.
The outcome of that case could subject Marshall to punishment from the NFL even though it was part of what triggered his summons to commissioner Roger Goodell's office last summer, when Marshall was suspended for the season opener and fined two paychecks after a series of police-related incidents involving his former girlfriend.
Marshall caught 104 passes for 1,265 yards and six touchdowns last season. But he dropped 18 on-target passes, something he blamed on the nerve damage in his right arm, which he said he put through a television set while horsing around with his brother a year ago in the offseason.
The Broncos are off until training camp in late July. If Marshall is still on the team, he could become their first camp holdout since Ashlie Lelie in 2006. Lelie forced a trade to Atlanta, which gave Marshall his chance to begin making his mark in Denver.
The Broncos also signed free-agent receiver Brandon Lloyd on Monday.
Lloyd is a seventh-year pro with 15 career touchdown catches who played for Chicago last season. He's also played for Washington and San Francisco.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.