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Marshall Doesn’t Have Much Leverage

As rumors fly that Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall will continue to push for a trade, there are a couple of key points that he needs to keep in mind. First, he’s not a quarterback. Though Jay Cutler was able to talk (or, more accurately, not talk) his way out of town, the Broncos might be more willing to tolerate a wideout who doesn’t want to be there. Second, Marshall has no leverage. None. He’s signed through 2009. And while the financial penalties arising from his decision to bail on a mandatory minicamp are manageable, the consequences of a training-camp holdout would be more dire -- starting at more than $90,000 for the first day and increasing at roughly $17,000 per day thereafter. And then there’s the requirement that a player under contract report 30 days before the start of the regular season or forfeit a year of accrued service. This would prevent Marshall from becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2010, since he would have only three years, not four. (Of course, Marshall also won’t be an unrestricted free agent if he shows up and if there’s no CBA extension by next March. Still, that factor falls beyond his control; blowing his shot at unrestricted free agency due to a training-camp holdout would be on Marshall, and/or his agent.) So even though Marshall might huff and/or puff about wanting out, he might blow his own house down if he tries to force the team’s hand by staying away from training camp.