Sources: Offer not imminent
The star Broncos receiver, and restricted free agent, will visit with the Seahawks on Saturday, a team spokesman said on Friday night. ESPN.com first reported Marshall's visit.
The cost to get Marshall out of Denver could be significant. Denver slapped a first-round tender on Marshall earlier this week, meaning Seattle would have to surrender the No. 6 pick in April's draft as compensation to the Broncos if the two teams cannot work out a trade.
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The reward for Seattle could be the big play receiver the Seahawks need even if he comes with past problems. Marshall has caught more than 100 passes in three straight seasons.
However, Marshall is not expected to sign an offer sheet Saturday with Seattle, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The visit is not meant as an immediate step toward a signing; rather it's a get-to-know-each other visit in a process that is not expected to be quick.
Marshall, who began and ended last season in coach Josh McDaniels' dog house but in between caught 101 passes and 10 touchdowns, received a first-round qualifying offer from the Broncos on Wednesday -- which would make it easier to facilitate a trade.
Marshall, who turns 26 this month, would get a 14.7 percent raise next season to $2.521 million if he's still in Denver.
The source of his discontent last summer was twofold: he was angry with the team's medical staff for misdiagnosing a hip injury that required surgery, and he wasn't happy with his contract.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2006, Marshall said he should be compensated like other elite wide receivers.
He set an NFL record by catching 21 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Indianapolis, but just a few weeks later he showed up 20 minutes late for treatment on a pulled hamstring and was benched for the season finale.
If he comes to Seattle, Marshall would be reunited with offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who worked as an offensive assistant with the Broncos until last season when he went to Southern California to becomes the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll. Now the duo are with the Seahawks, along with Seattle quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who coached receivers in Denver until last season.
And receiver is quickly becoming a need for the Seahawks. They saw Nate Burleson leave for Detroit in the first hours of free agency and haven't made a decision on underperforming Deion Branch, whom the team spent a first-round pick to acquire in a trade from New England at the start of the 2006 season.
If Branch does not return, Seattle would have only one wide receiver -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- on its roster that caught more than 15 passes last season.
The Seahawks are set to have a busy week of free-agent visitors. After Marshall leaves, free-agent tight end Chris Baker, formerly of the Patriots, and New Orleans Saints free-agent running back Mike Bell each are scheduled to visit Seattle, a league source told Schefter.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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