Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year, $32 million extension, the team announced Tuesday. We had a feeling the might be coming, after word leaked late last week that Marshall and the Broncos were working on a new deal, with the Von Miller talks currently on ice.
The extension includes a $10 million signing bonus—almost four-times the amount Marshall was scheduled to make in 2016 on the second round restricted free agent tender the Broncos tagged him with. The deal also reportedly includes $20 million in total guarantees.
“We’re thrilled to agree to terms with Brandon on a four-year extension,” GM John Elway said. “Brandon’s become an integral part of our defense over the last three years and has put in a lot of hard work into becoming such a key player on our team. We congratulate Brandon and look forward to him being a Bronco for many more years.”
The 6-foot-1, 238-pound Marshall arrived in Denver via the practice squad in September of 2013 and has gone on to start 29-of-31 games for the Broncos. After tearing it up on the scout team, and earning the praise and support of his teammates, he eventually made his way to the 53-man roster.
Marshall has been a key starter on Denver's vaunted defense for two years now, posting back-to-back seasons of 100-plus tackles. Last year, he totaled 101 defensive stops (76 solo) to go along with 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
The questions on how he'd transition to inside linebacker in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme have been answered. There's no doubting he's become integral to the Broncos defensive success. Still, Marshall sees room for improvement. He talked about his goals Tuesday.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1678628-did-denver-overpay-brando... “I definitely want to make the Pro Bowl, All-Pro," Marshall said. "Those have always been my goals. I think what has always driven me is not necessarily the cash, not necessarily the money. Even when I was a kid, I just wanted to be the best. I just loved the game of football. Now each and every day what drives me is, OK, how can I be considered the best ‘backer in the league? How can I get in this elite company? With me focusing on that, working hard and focusing on the little things—footwork, upper body strength or whatever the case may be—it’s all led to this."
After entering the league as a fifth round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and subsequently being waived, Marshall's success in the NFL was far from guaranteed. That makes this extension all the more gratifying. He had to work for every well-deserved nickel.
"I had a [Jacksonville] coach tell me that he didn’t know if I was cut out for the NFL," Marshall said. "All that ran through my mind. It ran through my mind each and every day as I was working. I was out there practicing, I was lifting weights—that’s my chip. That’s the biggest chip I have because people doubted me. I try to find new chips each year to keep me going, but that’s the biggest.
Earlier this year when the Broncos hit him with the RFA tender, Marshall could have held out of OTAs, like many modern NFL players are wont to do. Instead, he chose to attend, despite the fact he was recovering from finger surgery.
"I was talking to my linebackers coach, Reggie Herring, and called me sometime in the offseason," Marshall reminisced. "He said, ‘What’s up with these reports?’ I was telling him what my thought process was and what my agents were thinking, and he said if you come in and you work, they can never say anything bad about you. They can never say he didn’t do this or he didn’t do that because you came in, you did the due diligence and you worked hard. They can never say anything. I just sat down and thought that makes sense. After that, I was like, OK, I’m there."
He may not be the most vocal player, but Marshall's leadership traits are off the charts. The Broncos obviously recognize his special skill-set and have rewarded him accordingly.
“I think regardless of what anybody says or what anybody has said about me—good or bad—I’ve always believed in myself," he said. "I’ve always known where I could go. I’ve had that drive and that determination. I’ve always just worked. That’s all I know how to do, just work hard. I think all of that put together has brought me to this moment.”
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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