NFL: Broncosí Marshall wants to be classified as superstar, without working at it
By David Ramsey
Brandon Marshall wants superstar money, but thereís a problem with his desire.
Heís not a superstar.
He has the diva part down. He is, like Terrell Owens, alarmingly self-centered.
In his me-first mode, he seeks mega-money, but he has yet to deliver the mega-performance to earn his mountain of cash.
Marshall is angry at the Denver Broncos for paying him a mere $2.2 million per season to catch footballs.
Heís trying, and so far succeeding, to match Jay Cutlerís ability to wallow in a persecution complex.
Heís refused to report to the Broncos mandatory minicamp.
Letís be clear. Marshall owns the tools required for greatness. Heís tall, fast and elusive, a freakish athlete who starred for his high school basketball team and reigned as Pennsylvaniaís high school triple-jump champ.
And, yes, heís grabbed 206 passes in the past two seasons.
But his big numbers are deceptive. Marshall has collected impressive stats in all but the most important category:
Last season, Marshall caught 104 passes, but only six TDs. In the Broncos final three games, when they marched out of the playoffs, Marshall caught 21 passes without a TD.
In Denverís season-finale, a must-win at San Diego, he and Cutler were virtually invisible. The great ones emerge when it matters most.
If Marshall wants more money, he must spend more time in the end zone.
If Marshall wants to be considered a superstar, he must be more eager to run routes in the center of the field.
This is where snarling linebackers await and vicious collisions leave receivers hearing strange sounds. This is where Marshall must excel.
If Marshall wants love from Broncos fans, he must protect the football.
Itís a blast to watch him dancing on the field, dodging defenders while recklessly carrying the ball in one hand.
Itís not so fun when the ball comes loose. Marshall has fumbled seven times in two seasons.
Last season, the Broncos traveled to Kansas City with a 3-0 record, but a Marshall fumble led to a Chiefs touchdown and victory. It was the first hint of a doomed Broncos season.
Donít get me wrong. The Broncos canít afford to let Marshall slip away. Heís the receiver who might ó and, remember, I said might ó make Kyle Orton resemble an actual NFL starting quarterback.
Still, Marshall should realize Denverís NFL rivals are not itching to pay massive money for a player burdened with a checkered legal past.
Other NFL teams see what Broncos owner Pat Bowlen sees.
Marshall, if he harnesses his enormous potential, is on the way to greatness.
And he needs to report to camp and get to work on that still-massive if.