Rekindling the Brandon Marshall to Cleveland Trade Rumors

09000d5d80c462ff_gallery_600Stop us if you have heard this one before: Browns quarterback Brady Quinn is rumored to be a trade chip, going to Denver for wide receiver Brandon Marshall.  This weekend, The Denver Post threw the Cleveland Browns as a possible destination for the disgruntled receiver and managed to add Brady Quinn’s name into the mix.  And  as fans know, it only takes one bout of speculation for the Internet tires to start spinning…

One year ago, we discussed Quinn trade rumors.  He (and teammate Braylon Edwards) spawned our creation of the “alert” system.  But in the end, Quinn stayed put with Eric Mangini opting to turn down any offers which he was presented.  The man donning the No. 10 jersey started the bulk of the Browns games but managed to finish strong thanks to a solid running attack down the home stretch.  Denver’s Marshall accompanied Quinn in the trade rumors folder.  He too stayed with his team, but went on to have another amazing year (101 receptions, 1120 yards, 10 TDs) and capped it off in Miami this weekend for his second Pro Bowl bid.

Fast forward to today where Browns president Mike Holmgren has stated that he will choose a quarterback prior to training camp, and that man will be the starting quarterback for the 2010 season – no debates, no controversy.  Quinn, on the other hand, is by no means a lock for that spot.  Derek Anderson, the current back-up quarterback, is due a large roster bonus and will likely not be with the team.  And the third piece of this puzzle is Marshall, who The Denver Post believes will be traded  shortly after the March 5th open of NFL free agency.

Not long ago, ESPN’s Mark Schlereth reported that Marshall’s name plate was removed from the Broncos locker room.  Despite the solid season, Marshall was unhappy in Denver and has been a malcontent for the majority of his career.  And with their current quarterback Kyle Orton a free agent, do the Broncos go another route to replace their former first-round draft choice Jay Cutler?

Quinn’s value is by no means any higher at this point than it was one season ago.  In 10 games under center, he completed 53 percent of his passes for 1339 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.  The argument can be made that he did such with arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL.  Marshall, a high-possession receiver, would be an instant upgrade for the Browns who could be implementing more short, slant-type routes that focus on high conversion rates to spread out the defense. 

Couple all of the above and we have the current speculation that the Browns would attempt to rekindle the flame that Mangini blew out last spring.  The team is suspected to go with a defensive selection or quarterback in the first round, leaving the second round on to address the offensive weapons.  Given that most collegiate receivers take an average of three seasons to fully acclimate themselves to the NFL game, the team could be looking at a long-term plan at the wide receiver slot if they choose to address it via the draft.  If Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert would like to improve the receiving options instantly, they would have to do so via free agency.

As was the issue with these rumors last season, Marshall’s nickname of “Baby TO” is not far off from the truth.  Albeit a younger version, Marshall appears to have a bit of a nasty side to his game.  His criminal record is well documented and he simply hasn’t been happy in Denver for years.  While he is saying all of the right things right now, there is little doubt that he would welcome a new environment in which to work.  But is Cleveland that fit?

Eric Mangini has an ideal player type and it would not be far-fetched to say that Marshall is not that type.  Marshall showed up to Denver camp after a holdout and then claimed that he did not know more than a fraction of the playbook. He would later be suspended for punting footballs at practice and intentionally disrupting drills.  The last distraction-filled, me-first wide receiver was shipped to New York where he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass in the AFC championship game, but went on to criticize play-calling.    On the flip side of the coin, this Browns team desperately needs weapons sooner than later, has a slew of draft picks to add in to any deal and Eric Mangini is no longer the sole decision-maker when it comes to Pro Personnel. 

Keep in mind, many are linking Marshall to the Browns solely because they were the only team that included a specific player that would be returning to Denver.  Other teams that have been linked to Marshall include the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, and Seattle Seahawks.

(Image courtesy of the Associated Press)

  • Denny


  • stin4u

    not much interest in this to be honest. Marshall is just another diva that I doubt fans want to put up with. There is no doubt the guy has talent but how will he react to another 5-11 type season even with a new team? I’d rather see quality guys get picked up in the draft and have a bright future as opposed to a murky present because the star can’t keep his mouth shut…..

  • EZ

    Wasn’t Marshall sitting at the end of the season because he wasn’t reacting well to the discipline McDaniels was trying to instill?

    How’s he going to work in camp Mangini?

  • Denny


  • bobby

    I dont want Marshall, though during the season I would have. I would not be opposed to trading BQ to denver for some picks though. Dont they have 2 in the 1st? not saying we’d get a 1st for BQ, but they may be willing to split with a 2nd round pick. Then we could sign a QB and draft Dan LeFevour.

  • Robbie

    Ugh… we just got rid of one diva of a WR. I can’t see this guy changing on a team that has been competitive twice in the past 11 seasons. And, how’s he gonna handle a hard-ass like Mangini? And, who’s gonna pass to him if he’s traded for Quinn?!?

    Oh well, at least I don’t have to make this decision. I’m glad that Holmgren is in charge.

  • nobody

    If there’s any merit to the rumor, the Browns have to do it. That trade is very lopsided in the Brown’s favor. Quinn will never amount to anything and Marshall has already proven he’s one of the better receivers in the league.

  • thebigmack67

    No way I want Marshall on this team. He is a great talent but not worth the headache. When your head coach benches you during the middle of a playoff run despite the fact you are your teams most explosive offensive weapon, that says a lot. Besides didn’t we just get rid of our talented but troubled wide-reciever because he kept budding heads with the front office. You really think Mangini wants this guy on his team, no way this happens. Even Holmgren can spot the red flags all over this one.

  • Harv 21

    C’mon, if we’re going to repeat musings, let’s make it Tribe news. Kerry Wood for Albert Pujols! Someone, somewhere, implied it could happen, or wanted it to happen, or something.

  • BrianRut4

    Denny, are you in the midst of football withdrawal induced nervous breakdown?

    To those who think there is no room in this offense for a huge, fast, talented reciever who holds the NFL record for receptions in a game, i wholeheartedly agree.

    (And with the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select… Dane Sanzenbacher!)

  • Scott

    IMO, it’s a very fine line between adding quality receivers and taking on a diva. The Browns aren’t getting Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. Every other WR1 in the league has issues of some sort.

  • BrianRut4

    Big Mack, there is one key difference between Edwards and Marshall… one of the two actually has the ability to catch footballs.

    Edwards may not have worn out his welcome so quickly if he wasnt dropping TDs every game.

  • Oppie

    I don’t know how I feel about Marshall. He’s a great talent, but not worth the headache, especially since we removed a team cancer at WR last year.

    I would however be willing to trade Quinn for some picks, at this point I’d take a 3 or 4 for him b/c that’s about all he’s worth.

  • stin4u


    Unless we land Troy Smith….and trade Cribbs for beanie wells…..oh and of course we’ll need a backup for Smith…..I wonder what Craig Krenzel is doing nowadays? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..


  • stin4u

    btw what is going on with Anquan Boldin? Is he still requesting new contract/trade?

  • Scott

    “btw what is going on with Anquan Boldin?”

    Says he’s happy now. We’ll see how long that lasts.

  • mgbode

    Anquan Boldin said he would not be demanding a trade this offseason. That despite he’s not 100% happy with his contract nor how everything played out, he would continue on with his work with the Cardinals through the end of his contract.

    As for Marshall….just say no. We are not and should not be the Bengals. Let’s not bring aboard a guy with 24 police interactions and expect him to change his ways (and I posted the link with the list last year, so who knows how many more he has added).

  • Cavs Fanatic

    I think Brandon Marshall would be an amazing addition to the Cleveland Browns. Everyone knows his past and the troubles he’s been in but, with the exception of his rookie season, has caught for over 1,000 yards in each season. He’s a young receiver which is a crucial element in the Browns rebuilding process. If we could acquire him for the weak arm that is Brady Quinn, I’d say peace in a heartbeat. Quinn is only good from a PR point of view. We could then focus on drafting a Jake Locker or or Jimmy Claussen in the draft. I think it’s something the Browns should really consider when you think they’re receiving core would then be Marshal, Masaquai, and if they resign Cribbs. Not too shabby of emerging young WR’s.

  • BrianRut4

    @18…Locker is staying at Washington this year

  • kirkcheated

    We just got rid of our own Baby TO…edwards. This trade doesn’t make any sense.

    Denver keeps Marshall; Cleveland keeps Quinn.

  • boogeyman

    ^^^ Agreed even worse is Troy Smith as QB! Quinn starts from day 1 you jettison Anderson and sign a veteran free agent backup. Use this draft and free agency to build around Quinn and if next season doesn’t go well for Quinn then make a decision. I can’t see how starting this QB mess with all the holes the Browns have is a good idea. They showed they could manage to win 5 games without a QB last year so concentrate on other areas of need which are aplenty. Oh and no thanks to Brandon Marshall!

  • BrianRut4


    If Brandon Marshall was in the 2010 NFL Draft, he would be a top 5-10 pick, baggage and all. Would you trade Quinn for a top 5-10 pick?

  • EZ


    I’d trade Quinn for a top 5-10 pick. But I wouldn’t take a receiver with it =p

  • BrianRut4

    so hypothetically, if you were offered a top ten pick for brady quinn with the stipulation that you HAD to spend it on a WR, you would turn down that deal?

  • Vince

    Keep Quinn, trade DA and one or two of our 11 picks (Round 3s?) for Marshall. Yea, he’s got some problems, but its nothing a little talk from the big man Nazi upstairs (aka Mangini). The staff will refuse to tolerate any of his crap, and so will the fans. The thing I see is, his attitude might be like Braylon’s, but he has amazing hands and almost never drops the ball. He puts up stellar numbers year after year and he is a consistent target from Denver’s QB.

    I would be egstatic if he came to Cleveland, but hey, who am I kidding?

    I’d also like to take this time to plant a Brett Farve to Cleveland rumor, as well as a Micheal “Dawg Pound” Vick rumor on WFNY. :)

  • EZ

    “Yea, he’s got some problems, but its nothing a little talk from the big man Nazi upstairs (aka Mangini). The staff will refuse to tolerate any of his crap, and so will the fans.”

    A talk from the staff in Denver didn’t solve the problems, which is a large part of why he’s on the block in the first place.


    Since we’re already paying 1 rookie top ten pick money, no I wouldn’t trade Quinn if we had to take a WR with the pick. ESPECIALLY if that WR had the history of McDonald.

  • S-Dub

    Anyone who wants Boldin over Marshall from a pure talent stand point is crazy. Marshall has much more talent than Boldin and isn’t hurt like Anquan. He can be a headache, but that’s something the Browns front office would have to weigh.

    Sometimes I laugh at fans because they say they want a play maker with some attitude and edge, then we get some of those players, and then they don’t like him. Last time we had a couple play makers who had some attitude we almost made the playoffs. Maybe we should add some more.

  • EZ


    Who’s the Marshall type player on the Colts? Or the Saints? Or the Vikings?

    The only real “diva” in any of the Conference Championship games was Braylon and he had all of one good play in the Jets entire playoff run – unless you count Favre, who is a different kind of diva.

    An Ochocinco or a TO or a Braylon or any of those other really mercurial players might give you one great season once in a while but most of the time they’re not worth the headache and drama.

  • boogeyman

    @BrianRut4 I agree with EZ if I could find a sucker to give me a top 10 pick for Quinn I’d probably take it and I wouldn’t use it on a WR. I can’t see anyone giving a top 10 pick for Quinn or anyone else on the Browns roster except maybe Cribbs.

  • boogeyman

    S-Dub I’d take Boldin over Marshall – call me crazy! 😉

  • S-Dub

    @EZ: Wayne, Colston, Meachem, Garcon, etc. were all drafted. We need an instant upgrade through trade. Not to mention, those teams have 2 of the best QB’s in the league and can make ANY WR that can catch look like an all-pro. Garcon was developed behind Wayne and Harrison last year. Colston was a lucky find late in the draft. What about Shockey? does his loud mouth not count? Because I know that defenses still game plan for him.

    Philly went to the SB when they got TO, The cowboys were good with T.O. (why has Roy Williams disappeared? Maybe we should be looking at getting him). The Bucs had Keyshawn, Randy Moss in NE, Hines Ward and Santonio in Pitt. Let’s not act like loud mouth, big headed WR’s aren’t guys that usually make plays to help their teams get that ring.

  • Alex

    I dunno where all the trade DA talk is coming from.
    1) He’s worth absolutely nothing right now, which is related to:
    2) He gets a huge bonus before the season starts.
    3) Both the Browns and other teams know this. I don’t see any way the Browns keep DA and pay him his bonus, which leaves a trade or release. The other teams know that if they trade for him, they have to pay his stupid bonus or include the Browns paying his stupid bonus in the deal. What team is dumb enough to do that? If you wait, the Browns should release him and then you can pick him up for nothing. This isn’t baseball – we’re on the hook for the bonus if he’s not released by then. DA’s value absolutely could not be lower unless he was also coming off major surgery.

    So, to recap:
    – On the field he’s garbage.
    – Off the field he has a poison pill in his contract, but
    – Since contracts are guaranteed, he can be released with no penalty from that pill.

    So he won’t be traded.

  • EZ

    By “Marshall type” I didn’t mean WR that was drafted. Moreso a headcase that plays for themself more than for the team.

    Holmes is hardly a loudmouth, and while Ward is certainly a dirty player he is also a good soldier for Pittsburgh.

    Yes, Moss is an outlier but my point was more that you don’t NEED a talented hothead to do well. I’m not really moved by your example in comment 27 of Braylon’s freak season.

  • Alex

    Uh, lest everyone forget, Moss and the Pats did not win a Super Bowl. Nor did Moss and the Raiders or Moss and the Vikings. Nor have Chad Johnson, Marshall, and TO. Keyshawn and the Bucs won solely due to their defense – the Super Bowl MVP was on defense and Keyshawn had 1088 yards/5 TDs the entire regular season.

  • MattyFos

    I think we need a solid receiver. I’m glad Scott mentioned that a rookie receiver usually takes 3 years until he’s effective. People think a draft will help turn this team around. Getting Marshall would help solidify a position that may be out weakest. I like Brady more than DA and I think the WCO would be better with Brady Quinn.. But I haven’t been sold on either of our QB’s. I welcome more game changers to our offense

  • BrianRut4

    Boogeyman, you totally missed my point. Brandon Marshall is equal to or more valuable than a top ten draft pick. so in effect, Denver is offering the Browns that type of deal, if the rumors have any substance.

  • BrianRut4

    Alex, contracts are NOT guaranteed in the NFL. Only signing bonuses. The smart money is on DA getting cut before his roster bonus kicks in.

  • Alex

    Brian, that’s exactly what I said. Because of his bonus he will not be traded because no team’s dumb enough to eat that bonus when he’ll be available for nothing after he’s cut. Thus, people should stop speculating that DA will be traded for anything. Exactly my point.

  • Alex

    I see the confusion, there was a typo in my original post. Everything else is in exact agreement with you, though, Brian.

  • Hot Toluene

    Brandon Marshall is a legitimate game-changing talent. He’s also a loose cannon, an idiot, and inconsistent (in everything except football). I’d give him a 33% chance of doing incredibly well if he came here, 33% of being Braylon 2.0, and 33%, burning out/getting arrested/suspended.

    Brady Quinn is a mediocre quarterback whose chances of succeeding in Cleveland after his first 3 years of being dragged in and out of lineups is pretty much zilch.

    I say it’s worth the gamble – if we could trade a 3rd-rounder for Hasselbeck while we groom the QB of the future.

  • stin4u

    @ S-Dub When is the last time you saw Reg Wayne in the news for dogging it in practice…not happy….beating his wife…..uh never? Anquan Boldin has had some injuries but he manages to play often, and maybe you missed the game vs. the vikings but the guy is beastly he IS a number one but he just happens to play behind arguably the best receiver in the league. If loving Quan is wrong I don’t wanna be right. As for adding more “edgy” guys, why? So they can act like a douche and try to pull endo’s in a parking lot and sit out a year again? or criticize play calling and other players for THEIR shortcomings? no thanks buddy

  • Jay Cutler

    Are you jokes talking about Brandon Marshall the Linebacker from University of Nevada? Because I made the NFL Brandon Marshall who he is, he is nothing without me.

    Also, fun fact… Did you know that I was born in Santa Claus Indiana?

  • Denny


  • MattyFos

    @ Jay Cutler

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  • kevin

    troy smith sanzenbacher craig krenzel whos next jamarcus russell i would stop being a browns fan no wait lets get charlie frye back super bowl