4. Trading Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins
Another bad trade, another tip of the cap to Josh McDaniels.
By the time the 2009 season had ended, it became clear that Josh McDaniels' goal was really to eliminate any and all traces of what Mike Shanahan had built in Denver from 2006-2008 as the Broncos had multiple young players in the Pro Bowl, including the quarterback (Jay Cutler) and his top receiver (Brandon Marshall).
Brandon Marshall was initially drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Central Florida. Although he was an obscure pick at the time, he quickly became one of the best receivers in the NFL and the no. 1 receiver on the Denver Broncos' roster.
The Broncos had no need to trade Marshall in the 2010 offseason when McDaniels put him up for sale to the highest bidder. The team had traded away Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton, so there was not an albatross of a contract at the QB position preventing the team from paying Marshall. Off-field issues could have led to McDaniels ultimately wanting to trade Marshall, but whatever the motivation, it was misplaced.
The Broncos did get decent value for Marshall -- a 2010 second-round pick along with a 2011 second-round pick -- but once again, it was the principle of the move that didn't make any sense. The Broncos had obviously planned on drafting a quarterback in 2010, which they did (Tim Tebow). Their bridge quarterback at the time -- Kyle Orton -- had established a really strong chemistry with Marshall.
Even though the Broncos wanted to add more receivers in the NFL Draft, there was really no good reason to rid themselves of Marshall. Even though nobody is overly high on Orton as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos, I can only imagine how different the 2010 season might have been had he been able to throw to both Marshall and Brandon Lloyd, one of the greatest one-hit-wonders in the history of the franchise.
And if the Broncos had extended Brandon Marshall instead of trading him, just think about how good he could have been with Demaryius Thomas on the other side and Eric Decker in the slot...