Brandon Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, said Tuesday that he remains concerned about how a Denver Broncos public relations staff member handled his client's acquittal on misdemeanor battery charges last week.
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported Monday that, according to league and team sources, Broncos chief operating officer Joe Ellis apologized to Marshall on behalf of the organization after a junior member of the team’s PR staff told players what to say after Friday night's preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. According to those sources, the staffer specifically urged Broncos players not to express too much joy or emotion if questioned by the media about the Pro Bowl wide receiver's acquittal earlier that day in an Atlanta courtroom.
McGuire acknowledged to The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had talked with first-year Broncos coach Josh McDaniels about the incident, but he refused to reveal what was said. However, McGuire did say: "We have to get over the PR staffer's issue regarding Brandon. I'm not sure that it has been fully explained. So, again, I have my concerns."
League sources told La Canfora that Marshall was accompanied by lawyer Harvey Steinberg at the face-to-face meeting with Ellis and believes the PR staffer's action came on a directive from Broncos upper management. But team sources rebuffed that notion and attributed the incident to the staffer being “overzealous” and acting on his own.
Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said Tuesday that the issue had been handled internally and the team wouldn't have a comment. McDaniels also declined to discuss the situation, saying, "Those are all private meetings, and we're trying to do what's best for the football team."
When talking to The AP, McGuire declined to confirm reports that he had reiterated his request for a raise for Marshall and, barring that, a trade to another team during a Monday meeting with the Broncos.
McDaniels said he isn't concerned that Marshall's desire for a new contract will detract from the team's preparations for the season.
"Brandon's out here performing the way that he's capable of performing," McDaniels said. "So I don't have any reason to feel otherwise."
McDaniels declined to say what he needed to see from Marshall to rework the wide receiver's contract, which calls for him to make $2.2 million this season.
"Those things are private matters, and when or if or what we're doing at this point, we're going to keep it behind closed doors," McDaniels said.
Marshall hoped the verdict in the battery case would give him leverage for a fresh start, either in Denver or somewhere else. He contends that with back-to-back 100-catch seasons, he has outperformed the modest four-year contract he signed in 2006 as the Broncos' fourth-round draft pick out of Central Florida.
However, Marshall had issues on and off the field that hindered his trade value. He already has been suspended once for violating the league's personal-conduct policy over a series of domestic disputes, and another misstep would subject him to another, perhaps lengthy suspension.
After boycotting the Broncos' offseason workouts over his contract and his contention that the team made him play on a bum hip last year, Marshall has practiced about six times at training camp. He sustained a hamstring injury on Aug. 2 and didn't return to practice until Sunday. Marshall did practice on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.