Could Brandon Marshall Become an Eagle?By
As it stands, the Eagles may have one of the better receiving corps in the NFC. They don’t have that standout guy just yet, even though it appears DeSean Jackson may become that guy, but as far as talent and depth goes, they’re certainly at the very top.
If they had an opportunity to improve the receiving corp, however, it would be irresponsible not to take every advantage of that opportunity. Teams, regardless how they feel about their current roster, are always looking for ways to improve. For the Eagles, Brandon Marshall would certainly provide an improvement.
So, what would it take to get the deal done? Not a whole lot from where the Eagles are sitting, but they could get a whole lot in return.
Currently, the Broncos are not happy with their position at quarterback. Kyle Orton has not looked like the same quarterback that he was in Chicago, and Chris Simms is currently injured and watching from the bench, anyway. Add in the fact that now Orton is banged up and questionable for Week 1, and you’ve got a mess in Mile High.
Per Adam Schefter:
“Denver could have a problem if Kyle Orton‘s finger injury keeps him out of the regular-season opener against Cincinnati. Those who know Chris Simms, Denver’s backup quarterback, do not believe he will be ready to play the Broncos opener and think his high ankle sprain will sideline him closer to a month. At least.”
This is an area in which the Eagles can help.
Realistically, A.J. Feeley has been on the trading block since the day Vick was signed. McNabb is firmly entrenched as the starter, Kevin Kolb was a second round pick and isn’t going anywhere, and Michael Vick has no trade value. If the Broncos wanted him, they could have signed him.
Feeley has shown that he has the talent and the poise to lead a team, as he has done with the Eagles. Josh McDaniels got to see Feeley up close and personal in 2007 as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator when Feeley passed for nearly 350 yards and three touchdowns to come just three points shy of ending the Pats perfect run.
Word out of New England is that even Bill Belichick is interested in Feeley. If McDaniels is anything like Belichick, which years of tutelage would cause one to think that he is, then he must have an interest in Feeley too. In fact, the Broncos are a team that has been linked to interest in Feeley recently. Whether or not that’s because of McDaniels is neither here nor there.
The Broncos, who have said they won’t trade Marshall, have seemingly contradicted themselves by allowing it to be known that they are in fact looking for help at receiver. This would seem to indicate that they are anticipating a vacancy at the position and, again, the Eagles can help.
The Eagles would most likely be willing to part ways with Kevin Curtis, Hank Baskett, and Reggie Brown. Baskett and Brown are on the chop block, while Curtis may find himself on the trading block if they get an interesting offer. With Marshall’s spot becoming open and Jabar Gaffney’s broken thumb, the Broncos just may interested in two of those three.
If I’m the Eagles, it makes sense to call the Broncos and offer them A.J. Feeley, Kevin Curtis, and Reggie Brown for Marshall. If they don’t want to take that offer (which they probably wouldn’t), then simply throw in Hank Baskett and perhaps a late-round draft pick — maybe a conditional fourth depending on Marshall’s production and Baskett, Brown, and Curtis’ playing time.
All three receivers may be a bit steep, but considering that either Baskett or Brown will be gone sometime this week anyway, and the fact that Marshall would be stepping in, it looks a whole lot better from the Eagles’ perspective. If the trade were to go down, their receiving corps would look something like this:
1. Brandon Marshall
2. DeSean Jackson
3. Jason Avant
4. Jeremy Maclin
5. Brandon Gibson
Then, if they really wanted to, there are guys like Matt Jones floating around in free agency that could make for a fantastic sixth receiver.
For the Broncos, this may seem like a raw deal, but they’re in a tough spot, and would be filling some needs.
A.J. Feeley could come in and start for them until Orton was ready, or even start for the entire year if he plays well, which isn’t stretch. Even if Orton supplants Feeley at some point, Feeley gives you one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league.
Then, their receiving corps would look a little something like this:
1. Eddie Royal
2. Kevin Curtis
3. Brandon Stokley
4. Reggie Brown
5. Hank Baskett
6. Chad Jackson/Brandon Lloyd
With Feeley gunning it around to that group of guys, the offense could see some success. Especially taking into account the fact that they should see great production out of Knowshon Moreno and former Eagle Correll Buckhalter in the running game.
Not only that, but it would appear as though Marshall has worn out his welcome in Denver, and that the fanbase as well as management are tired of hearing from him.
Some may say they don’t want Marshall because of his off-the-field problems, but I feel with a change of scenery and a new contract that the Eagles could certainly afford, he would be a model citizen knowing he’s with a team considered a Super Bowl contender, and in an offense that would give him a lot of opportunities to make big plays.
For the Eagles, they have the firepower, but do they want Marshall? It wouldn’t make much sense not to want Marshall, considering this is the same team that brought Michael Vick in with open arms.
For the Broncos, the trade offer may be attractive, but do they really want to trade a Pro Bowl quarterback and wide receiver all in the same offseason? Probably not, but is it really worth holding on to a receiver that doesn’t want to be there and has shown he’ll do whatever it takes to get out of town?
It would be difficult for both teams, and by no means am I saying this will happen, but the possibility is certainly there. If the Broncos management and coaching staff see Feeley as a starter until they can draft a guy, this deal could get done and done more quickly than you’d think.
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