ENGLEWOOD — Brandon Marshall has one more reason to be miffed at the Denver Broncos.
Marshall, who is unhappy with his contract and wants either a raise or a trade, is annoyed with the way the team handled his acquittal on misdemeanor battery charges last week, a person close to him told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Marshall learned upon rejoining the team that a member of the Broncos’ public relations staff told his teammates after their preseason opener at San Francisco on Friday night that they shouldn’t gloat over his acquittal hours earlier in an Atlanta courtroom.
The Denver Post, quoting a person it didn’t identify, reported that players were told not to say they were happy for Marshall but instead to say it was good for the organization that the issue was behind them.
Marshall was told the staffer was acting on his own but figured the directive came from someone higher up in the organization, so he met with Broncos chief operating officer Joe Ellis, who apologized to him Monday, the person familiar with the matter told the AP.
Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said the issue was handled internally and the team would have no comment.
Marshall walked off the practice field Tuesday without speaking to reporters, and coach Josh McDaniels declined to discuss the latest developments in this saga.
“Those are all private meetings and we’re trying to do what’s best for the football team,” McDaniels said.
Marshall’s agent, Kennard McGuire, declined to confirm reports that he had reiterated his request for a raise for his client and, barring that, a trade, during a meeting with the Broncos on Monday.
“I would not divulge anything about my meeting with Josh McDaniels; I will keep the details of the conversation between Josh and myself,” McGuire told The AP on Tuesday night. “And I am confident that he would govern accordingly. Anything other than the words from my mouth is purely speculation.”
McGuire said, however, that the public relations staffer’s admonition to Marshall’s teammates regarding their public reactions to his acquittal remained a point of contention.
“We have to get over the P.R. staffer’s issue regarding Brandon. I’m not sure that it has been fully explained,” McGuire said. “So, again, I have my concerns.”
McDaniels said he’s not concerned that Marshall’s desires for more money or discontent over not getting it right away will detract from the team’s preparations for the season.
“Brandon’s out here performing the way that he’s capable of performing. So, I don’t have any reason to feel otherwise,” McDaniels said.
He declined to say what he needed to see from Marshall to rework his contract, which calls for him to make $2.2 million this season.
“Those things are private matters, and when or if or what we’re doing at this point, we’re going to keep behind closed doors,” McDaniels said.
Now that Marshall has cleared his name in the court of law — and, he hopes, the court of public opinion — the Pro Bowl receiver wants to put his signature on a hefty new contract. He hoped the verdict clearing him of charges he beat up his former girlfriend 18 months ago would give him leverage for a fresh start either in Denver or somewhere else.
But the Broncos are taking a wait-and-see approach with their recalcitrant receiver. They want to make sure he can keep out of trouble, stay healthy and deliver on the field like he did before he hurt a hip that required surgery in March.
Marshall hoped to follow Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler out of Denver this offseason, but McDaniels didn’t want to send a second superstar packing before he had even coached his first game and quickly quashed that notion.
Marshall contends that with back-to-back 100-catch seasons he has outperformed the modest four-year contract he signed in 2006 as a fourth-round draft choice out of Central Florida.
Yet, Marshall has issues on and off the field that are hindering his trade value and preventing him from cashing in.
He has already been suspended once for violating the league’s personal conduct policy over a series of domestic disputes. Another misstep would subject him to another, perhaps lengthy suspension.
After boycotting the team’s offseason workouts over his contract and his contention that the team made him play on a bum hip last year, Marshall has only practiced about a half-dozen times at training camp. He sustained a hamstring injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t return to practice until Sunday.