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Published on 06/18/2009 at Thu Jun 18 12:58.
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Jay Cutler launches a pass to Brandon Marshall.  (Joe Mahoney/RMN Photo)

Jay Cutler launches a pass to Brandon Marshall. The Broncos might lose both players now that Marshall has asked for a trade. (Joe Mahoney/RMN Photo)

No matter your opinion of Jay Cutler and his exodus from Mile High Country, you’ll never convince me that the situation couldn’t have been handled better. Now, the Broncos have the opportunity to do just that.

Here we sit, three months later, and Josh McDaniels and Pat Bowlen are facing a similar situation with another young Pro Bowler, Brandon Marshall. Marshall has asked to be traded. Marshall has said his goodbye to the fans.

You know what I say? Let him talk. Keep #15 in Denver.

If you take McDaniels’ comments at face value, it appears the Broncos intend to do just that. “(We) are going to continue our dialogue with Brandon and his representative,” McDaniels told the Associated Press. “We look forward to having Brandon at training camp.”

This is the only resolution that comes with a happy ending in my mind. Trading Marshall comes with too much collateral damage – not only will it be hard to get equal value with draft picks, but trading two pouty Pro Bowlers at their behest sends the wrong message to the team. Don’t let the tail wag the dog, McD. Take control.

We all know the contractual situation with Marshall is complicated. There’s no doubt that, on the field, Marshall has earned a fat new contract. Off the field, however, Marshall carries too much risk, both legally and medically. So the Broncos need to call his bluff, let him sit out as much training camp as he dares, and start contract negotiations when they’re good and ready. With the upcoming CBA situation, Marshall would only be a restricted free agent in 2010, giving the Broncos all the time and leverage they need.

That’s how they handled the Casey Wiegmann situation, and I applaud them for it. McDaniels even waxed poetic at Wiegmann’s cooperation in the entire process in the team’s press release, saying “The professionalism and leadership (Wiegmann) showed throughout this process was outstanding.”

That quote raised my eyebrows — do you know how often I can recall a coach’s quote being included in a press release covering something as simple as a contract extension? Never, not once, zero. That was a message to Marshall and the team, plain and simple: play by our rules, and we’ll take care of you.

I love it. McD screwed the pooch with Cutler in my opinion, but he’s saying and doing the right things with Marshall. Here’s hoping he can put his money where his mouth is.

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