Can't believe we're saying this -- but Brandon Marshall deserves to get paid

I take second place to no one in Brandon Marshall bashing over the past six months or so -- and I continue to feel it was entirely justified given allegations about bad behavior by former squeeze Rasheedah Watley, among many other things. Now, however, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is talking about fattening Marshall's wallet in a major way -- and I'm not in the slightest mood to bash him for it. In fact, it sounds like a damned good idea.

No, I'm not drunk. Well, maybe a little -- on wins.

Here's my rationale. Marshall miraculously dodged NFL suspension and skated after facing off with Watley in court, meaning there are no more league or legal challenges encumbering his future playing status. On top of that, the weeks of either faking or exaggerating injuries to express displeasure at his contract status are over, having ended after coach Josh McDaniels finally grew tired of his infantilism and suspended him for one hissy fit too many.

Since coming back, Marshall has worked hard to get himself in playing shape, and to learn McDaniels' offense. And instead of celebrating ultra-satisfying wins against the Cowboys and the Patriots by reverting to petulant diva status, he's actually appeared to have learned his lessons.

For that, McDaniels deserves credit for getting tough with Marshall instead of taking the easier tack and shipping him out of town. And Marshall? As long as he follows the righteous path he finally, finally, finally seems to be on, he deserves a new contract with some extra zeros in it.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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