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Broncos Preseason: Like Watching a Soap Opera

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mcdaniels-joshInstead of focusing on today’s final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, and what it’s going to take to at least look competitive this season in a terrible division, the Broncos spent another day dealing with drama.

Just as wide receiver Brandon Marshall swatted away passes and punted balls from the ball boys to earn a suspension last week, coach Josh McDaniels spent yesterday swatting down reports that Marshall was going to be traded to the New York Jets (via The Denver Post).

Earlier this week, Newsday reported that the Jets were in hot pursuit of Marshall, but then yesterday wrote that the deal was “highly unlikely,” with reports suggesting that the Broncos’ asking price was too high.

Meanwhile, McDaniels (pictured) is also in the midst of a prickly quarterback situation. Starter Kyle Orton dislocated his finger so badly last Sunday that the knuckle of his right index finger broke through the skin, according to the Post.

Couple that with backup quarterback Chris Simms’ battered ankle, and the Broncos will start rookie sixth-round draft pick Tom Brandstater at quarterback tonight. Even Brandstater thinks the situation is “crazy,” he tells The Modesto Bee, but there is no other option. It’s unclear if Orton’s finger will be healed in time for the season opener September 13 in Cincinnati.

Sports Illustrated projects the Broncos to finish the season at 5-11, third in the abysmal AFC West and just one win better than the Oakland Raiders, whose head coach is currently under investigation for allegedly assaulting one of his assistant coaches (via Comcast SportsNet). Are the Broncos really in Oakland Raiders territory? Maybe in drama and bonehead decisions, but not in net worth.

Forbes released its 2009 team valuations yesterday, putting the Broncos at the number 10 spot, worth an estimated $1.08 billion, a two percent increase over 2008. The Raiders are worth about $797 million, with the biggest one-year decline in the NFL of sevent percent. The number one team? The Dallas Cowboys, worth an estimated $1.65 billion.

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