The rumor mill around the Broncos' Brandon Marshall is cranking at a feverish pitch -- and the latest reports about possible interest from the New York Jets provide a primer in how speculation builds in the current media age.
The starting points for these whispers were two sentences near the bottom of the March 24 "Sightings" column by Norm Clarke, the former Rocky Mountain News staffer who now writes for the Las Vegas Journal-Review. They read: "Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall celebrated his 26th birthday at N9NE with friends. He received a telephone call during dinner from New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez."
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That was enough to prompt a March 25 item in the New York Post's Jets blog. Author Mark Cannizzaro notes: "What was said on the call is pure speculation, but the timing is at least noteworthy with reports that the Jets have had internal discussions about Marshall and with the Broncos potentially willing to come off their demand that a No. 1 pick be included in any trade."
Cannizzaro's snippet was picked up earlier today by the Sports Rumors scribes at Yahoo! But long before then, it became a matter of debate on the Broncos' official online fan forum, with posters dishing about whether Sanchez was buttering up Marshall, or if they're just pals.
Whatever the case, Marshall remains one of the most talked-about players during this off-season. Practically anything will get the Internet buzz rumbling these days -- even two lines about a phone call at the tail end of a gossip column.