That could be a welcome development for Seattle, the only team that has visited with Marshall this offseason.
The price the Jets paid for Holmes -- only a fifth-round draft choice -- reflected the Steelers' eagerness to part with Holmes, a troubled player entering the final year of his contract. How badly do the Broncos want to trade Marshall?
The NFL executives Denver Post reporter Jeff Legwold polled recently all thought Marshall would wind up in Seattle for less than a first-round pick in return, unless the Redskins showed interest and the Broncos were OK making a deal with their former coach, Mike Shanahan. The Redskins are already lacking draft capital, however, and that makes their candidacy seem unlikely.
The Steelers probably had more urgency to deal the troubled Holmes given the public-relations hits Pittsburgh has taken this offseason. Holmes and Marshall were both 2006 draft choices, Holmes in the first round and Marshall in the fourth. Marshall has produced at a high level more consistently, topping 100 receptions and 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons. But Holmes has averaged an additional 4.0 yards per reception (16.3 to 12.3), and the disparity was even greater in 2009 (15.8 to 11.1). Both have had off-field issues.
Of course, the price one team pays for a receiver doesn't always affect what another team can get for one.
The Ravens recently paid third- and fourth-round choices to Arizona for receiver Anquan Boldin and a fifth-rounder. The Eagles traded receiver Reggie Brown to Tampa Bay for a 2011 sixth-rounder. In 2006, the Seahawks paid a 2007 first-rounder to New England for Deion Branch. In 2005, the Vikings sent Randy Moss to Oakland for linebacker Napoleon Harris and draft picks, including the seventh overall choice. A couple of years later, the Patriots acquired Moss for a fourth-round choice.
It's an upset if Seattle pays more than a second-rounder for Marshall unless additional teams show interest.