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Marshall, Dumervil, Orton among five tendered by Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos are doing everything they can to keep Pro Bowl pass rusher Elvis Dumervil in blue and orange.

Brandon Marshall, not so much.

On Wednesday, the Broncos slapped a first- and third-round tender on Dumervil, who led the league in sacks last season. Other teams would have to surrender those two levels of picks in the upcoming draft if they signed the restricted free agent who stands to make $3.168 million next season with the Broncos.


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Marshall, who began and ended last season in coach Josh McDaniels' dog house but in between posted his third straight 100-catch season, received a first-round qualifying offer -- which would make it easier to facilitate a trade.

Marshall would get a 14.7 percent raise next season to $2.521 million if he's still in Denver.

The source of his discontent last summer was twofold: he was angry with the team's medical staff for misdiagnosing a hip injury that required surgery, and he wasn't happy with his undervalued contract.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2006, Marshall argued he should be compensated like other elite wide receivers.

He set an NFL record by catching 21 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Indianapolis, but just a few weeks later he showed up 20 minutes late for treatment on a pulled hamstring and was benched for the season finale.

Quarterback Kyle Orton ($2.261 million) and guard Kris Kuper ($2.521 million) also received first-round tender offers, and tight end Tony Scheffler ($1.759 million) was given a second-round tender.

All five players would have been unrestricted free agents if the owners hadn't opted out of the collective bargaining agreement with the players in 2008. Among the ramifications for the upcoming season are no salary cap or floor and players have to have six years of service instead of four to reach unrestricted free agency.

Late last season, Orton said it was a shame that players in his situation would have to wait to cash in on the free agent market because of the uncapped year that's coming in 2010, the result of a breakdown in the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.

"It's a bad thing for the 275 players that are in that position with me," Orton said on Dec. 30. "Free agency has always been something for the players. It's always been a great thing. If you get one crack at free agency as a player, that's what you dream of."

Along with Marshall, Scheffler was benched for the season finale against Kansas City, for his attitude.

After the Broncos lost their last game, finishing 8-8 again after a 6-2 start under McDaniels, Scheffler sounded as though he'd played his last game for the Broncos.

"If they want to go in a different direction, you kind of start with this game and I wasn't involved in it," he said.

Scheffler was among several holdover starters who were drafted by Mike Shanahan but who saw their roles greatly reduced under McDaniels.

"That's something you've got to deal with," Scheffler said in January. "That's why there's 32 teams."

On Wednesday, general manager Brian Xanders said the five players "are high-quality football players, and we look forward to their contributions during the 2010 season and beyond."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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