Broncos' Brandon Marshall practicing without contract in hopes it leads to one

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There are times when Brandon Marshall uses the 140-character world that is Twitter for entertainment, to engage, to make a point, or to remind people he's not that Brandon Marshall.

He's the Brandon Marshall who has a Super Bowl ring and plans to help the Denver Broncos get another title. When Broncos like Brock Osweiler and linebacker Danny Trevathan left via free agency, Marshall reminded his followers the Broncos are still the champs.

Marshall is so intent on helping the Broncos back to the Super Bowl, keeping his starting spot and helping the defense keep the No. 1 ranking, he is participating in the offseason program without a contract.

The 26-year-old is a restricted free agent to whom the Broncos tendered a one-year offer worth $2.553 million, but Marshall has not signed the tender as he and the Broncos have been unable to agree on a long-term contract. They likely won't until the Broncos finish a long-term contract with Von Miller, who has been designated as the franchise player.

Marshall and the Broncos agreed to a waiver that would cover Marshall if he were injured during the team's workouts. It means Marshall has taken part in the meetings and will practice as soon as he recovers from finger surgery.

"I love it here. I love it here, man," Marshall said after Thursday's practice. "Ever since I got here, in 2013, they've treated me like family, even when I was on the practice squad. It just shows, I'm really all about ball, getting better and being with the team. ... To stay away, that's not me. I feel comfortable being here."

Marshall said he'll have his finger re-examined Tuesday. Surgery was performed this offseason to repair the damage done in the Broncos' Week 2 victory over Kansas City, when Marshall stripped the ball from Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles in the closing seconds and Bradley Roby returned the fumble for a touchdown.

Marshall dealt with the pain through the 2015 season. He said he hopes Tuesday's checkup will result in him begin cleared to practice. He has participated in all the team's meetings to this point and has been on the field during practices, but had been held out of most of the drills.

"Basically to make sure everything's OK," Marshall said of the checkup. "I don't want to get another procedure on it."

Marshall led the team in tackles in 2014 and was second to Trevathan last season. Marshall played 2015 with two screws in his foot; a portion of one of the screws remains after offseason surgery.

"They left a piece of one in there because they said if they went to go get it, I would have been out longer," Marshall said. "Originally [they] took one-and-a-half out and that was like a four-week thing until I could run ... but if they [had taken the last piece out] it would have been like a three-month injury."

Broncos executive John Elway has said he'd like to get Marshall signed to a long-term deal after the team handles its business with Miller. Elway specifically mentioned Marshall and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders as players the Broncos would try to address after Miller.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips alluded to it as well Thursday when he was asked about Miller's absence from the Broncos' offseason program.

"This club is always going to take care of somebody that helped them win a championship like that," Phillips said. "So I feel like that will get worked out sooner or later. They'll help anybody that does that."

Marshall said he's confident things will work out.

"And when it does I'll tweet that out, too, just to let everyone know," he said.