Signing Marshall to an offer sheet is a less likely option for the Seahawks. If the Broncos elect not to match it, Seattle would owe Denver the No. 6 overall pick in the draft because of the $2.521 million tender that Marshall received earlier in the week. The Seahawks own two first-round picks, including No. 14, which incidentally they obtained from the Broncos last year.
The reward for Seattle could be the big-play receiver it needs, even if Marshall comes with past problems. He has caught more than 100 passes in three consecutive seasons.
Marshall began and ended last season in Broncos coach Josh McDaniels' dog house, but in between, he caught 101 passes and scored 10 touchdowns. The source of Marshall's discontent last summer was twofold: He was angry with the Broncos' medical staff for misdiagnosing a hip injury that required surgery, and he wasn't happy with his contract.
A fourth-round draft pick by Denver in 2006, Marshall said he should be compensated like other elite wide receivers.
Marshall set an NFL record last season by catching 21 passes during a loss to the Indianapolis Colts, 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.
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If he comes to Seattle, Marshall would be reunited with offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who worked as an offensive assistant with the Broncos until last season, when he went to USC to become the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll. Now Bates and Carroll are with the Seahawks, along with quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who coached the Broncos' receivers until last season.
And receiver is quickly becoming a need for the Seahawks. They saw Nate Burleson leave for the Detroit Lions in the first hours of free agency Friday and haven't made a decision on underperforming Deion Branch, whom the team spent a first-round pick to acquire in a trade with the New England Patriots at the start of the 2006 season.
If Branch doesn't return, Seattle would have only one wide receiver -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- who caught more than 15 passes last season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.