ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have tendered their three exclusive rights free agents, a group led by top tackler Brandon Marshall, who will receive $585,000 in 2015. Tackle Paul Cornick and guard Ben Garland will each receive $510,000.
The Broncos have two more restricted free agents in cornerback Tony Carter and linebacker Steven Johnson, and they must make a decision on them by the start of free agency Tuesday.
Marshall is a fourth-year pro and was a first-time starter last season. He led the Broncos with 110 tackles in 14 games despite missing the final 2 1-2 games with a sprained right foot that also hampered him in the playoffs. He posted 88 solo tackles, two sacks, an interception, nine pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Marshall, who entered the league as a fifth-round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars after a standout career at Nevada, is expected to play strongside linebacker in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.
Marshall didn’t require surgery on his injured foot and he expects to be ready for the start of offseason training next month.
Marshall went from practice squad member to backup to every-down linebacker, and he said he sees his breakout 2014 season as a precursor to bigger things in 2015.
“I see myself as a well-rounded linebacker that can play the run and play the pass well and can pass rush pretty decent,” Marshall said as he headed into an offseason of rest and rehab. “My tackling got way better, so if I just keep working on all those things, then I’ll be good.”
Cornick is a second-year pro who played in a dozen games for Denver last season, making three starts at right tackle and three as a blocking tight end down the stretch as the Broncos became more run-oriented.
Garland, a former Air Force lineman, played in eight regular season games plus the playoff game after spending the previous two years on the Broncos practice squad. He originally signed with Denver as a free agent in 2010 before a two-year military stint.
The tenders came a day after the Broncos signed another of their restricted free agents, long snapper Aaron Brewer, to a four-year, $4 million deal.
Also Friday, the Broncos announced the hiring of Mitch Tanney as director of football analytics, a newly created position. Before working in a similar capacity with the Bears from 2013-14, the former Monmouth College quarterback served as a manager of football products and sports analytics at STATS LLC.
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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