Forgive me. I have been out most of the evening and did not read the comments from the two posts prior. I have not read any insight from the Denver media nor did I read anything nationally. I am simply coming in from a night with the family and giving my opinion on why the Broncos did what they did with Brandon Marshall in terms of extending him the 1st Round Tender.
First, let's get this out of the way. I was as surprised as many of you that the Broncos didn't go for the top tender - 1st and 3rd round picks. At least initially. Until I thought about it from a business perspective, combined now with the knowledge of the Elvis Dumervil situation. With Dumervil receiving the 'high tender', it all becomes pretty clear to me.
In terms of value, you see what the Broncos are looking to do. Before we go any further, let me remind everyone of how this works. By extending a qualifying offer, all 5 of these players are Denver Broncos next year - unless the Broncos trade their tender to another team or another team signs them to an offer sheet. If signed, the Broncos would have 7 days to match or they receive the compensation described in the qualifying offer. In Brandon Marshall's case, that would be a first round pick in this year's draft.
It is obvious that Elvis Dumervil is going nowhere. I'd be shocked if any team signed Dumervil to a large offer sheet. Think about it. A team would have to go big to sign Dumervil - or risk the Broncos matching the offer - then give the Broncos a 1st and 3rd round pick in this year's draft. Sure, they could come to some agreement on compensation as well, but this makes it pretty clear that the Broncos want Dumervil and expect him to be here.
I'll say the same thing for Chris Kuper. A 1st Round pick for a Guard? Not likely.
Kyle Orton is probably in the same boat as well, though you never really know with a quarterback. I'd imagine he's not going anywhere either. Tony Scheffler is a little more complicated, but do you really see anyone giving up a 2nd Round pick for Scheff? Maybe, and if they do the Broncos should jump on it.
That leaves Marshall. I'm sure some of you are talking about respect. The business climate in the NFL right now has hardly anything to do with respect. Players are pissed, sure - many of these guys would be getting huge paydays this season - but because of the owners walking away from the CBA they are stuck. Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall are not the only ones, so this is all part of the business of football as it stands today. The players, owners and fans need to get used to it for the time being.
What about the level of the tender? Just a first round pick? Let's go back a bit. All the Broncos have done is secure Brandon Marshall for 2010 - and at worst - repeat - AT WORST - receive a 1st Round pick. By putting the 1st Round tag on Marshall, the Broncos have included more teams in the possible bidding. A 1st and 3rd would eliminate most teams right off the bat. Why do that when the Broncos could possibly get more teams involved?? We know the Broncos aren't completely against the idea of trading Brandon Marshall, so the more teams calling Brian Xanders, the better.
Why would teams up the bidding? For the exclusive right to negotiate with Marshall without the fear of the Broncos matching the offer. Say the Ravens come the Brian Xanders and say they are going to sign Marshall to a sheet, but want the exclusivity. They could throw a 4th round pick into the deal and get Marshall's tender for a 1st and 4th. See what I mean?
How about value? Let's say Marshall does get an offer. It is obvious that the Broncos and Marshall cannot come to terms on what his value really is. Instead of fighting over it themselves, let other teams do it. Say the Ravens sign Marshall to a 3 year, $30 million offer sheet. Now the market has been set and the Broncos have two choices - match the sheet or let him leave for a 1st round pick. Get it now?
This is all about giving the Broncos options. A first round tender gives the Broncos more options - including keeping Marshall for another year - than a 1st and 3rd round tender might. The 1st Round tender simply sets the bar. No cap means the Broncos have nothing to lose when it comes to Marshall because they can match ANY OFFER. Will they? Not likely, but other teams likely won’t sign him to an outrageous offer anyway because the NFLPA is watching to make sure the owners aren’t lying about their finances.
I know many of you are going to take your shots at management over this, and that is fine. I ask that we wait and see the end result before jumping to conclusions. The 1st round tender is not a sign of disrespect - it is simply keeping control of a situation as long as they can before making a final decision. When all the angles are looked at, I think the Broncos made the right moves - now they need to finish the job, getting as much value for each player - here or elsewhere - as they possibly can.