Brandon Marshall: ESPN's Herm Edwards and Adam Schefter hype a trade to the 49ers (along with Donovan McNabb!)

Yesterday, ESPN spent much of its NFL Live broadcast touting Herm Edwards' idea for the San Francisco 49ers to go after both Donovan McNabb, to whom the Eagles (inexplicably) seem ready to say goodbye, and the Broncos' Brandon Marshall.

Former Bronco Mark Schlereth immediately championed the idea, even holding up a homemade sign reading "Herm For GM," and while Adam Schefter was a little less enthusiastic from a cost perspective, a comment on his mighty Twitter feed suggests a certain level of enthusiasm. It reads: "Herm Edwards on NFL Live suggested 49ers trade for Donovan McNabb AND Brandon Marshall. And they still would have a leftover 1st-rd pick!"

Likelihood that this will happen? Small -- but if it did, it would have some notable advantages for the Broncos.

For one thing, McNabb in San Francisco would be better than McNabb in Oakland -- and earlier this week, the Raiders were identified as a leading candidate for his services. Any Broncos fan would prefer another year of JaMarcus Russell under center for the silver and black...

Regarding Marshall, the Seattle Seahawks are clearly interested, as Schefter stressed almost a month ago. But they're not willing to give up the number six pick in the draft -- and the Broncos haven't come off their demand for a first-rounder. The 49ers have considerably more flexibility, and obviously, the Broncos could use another lofty pick, given how many holes they still have to fill before convincing anyone that they can contend for anything other than middle-of-the-pack status.

Still, there are more arguments against this happening than for it. For one thing, Marshall would be teamed with Michael Crabtree, a promising young talent whose maturity remains an open question. My guess is, coach Mike Singletary, an old-school disciplinarian, probably doesn't see Marshall as the kind of influence that'll cause Crabtree's wisdom to bloom.

Singletary also seems to have gotten behind quarterback Alex Smith, who had a decent 2009 and at least has a chance to belatedly justify the 49ers drafting him first overall in 2005. Obtaining McNabb's services would mean giving up on Smith and creating a quarterback controversy a lot more dramatic than, say, Kyle Orton versus Brady Quinn.

Of course, Marshall's got to go somewhere, and it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the 49ers could make a play for him. But don't expect him to be catching passes from McNabb if he heads that direction. Sorry, Herm.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts