Brandon Marshall expects Broncos to sign free-agent QB, hints he wants Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is searching for a long-term lucrative contract and the Denver Broncos are in need of a long-term fix at quarterback. The match appears to be perfect. Just ask Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.

On Thursday, Marshall made an appearance on NFL Network's "Up To The Minute Live." There, Marshall said that he expects Broncos general manager John Elway to spend money on a free agent to fix a quarterback situation that has been broken ever since Peyton Manning's final season in 2015.

"In my opinion, we've already drafted a quarterback, first round a couple years ago. So, we've tried that," Marshall said. "I think he's going to go get a free-agent quarterback. I think he's going to go spend some money and fix the position, because it's kind of a toss-up with these rookie quarterbacks. You never know. But the only thing about getting a free-agent quarterback is some guys will have to go. I hope everybody gets to stay, but that's just the business." 

When Marshall was asked if there's anybody he prefers, he mentioned Cousins without actually saying his name.

"I mean, there's a couple guys out there," Marshall said. "We played against a guy Week 16 that was pretty good. There's a couple guys out there." 

In Week 16, during the Redskins' 27-11 victory over the Broncos, Cousins threw for 299 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and had a 94.3 passer rating. Meanwhile, Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 193 yards, no touchdowns, one pick and a 60.5 passer rating. It was during that game that players on the Broncos sideline ignored their quarterback when he tried to fire them up, which really serves as the best summary of the Broncos' quarterback situation:

As it stands, the Broncos are likely to keep Paxton Lynch in the mix. Trevor Siemian is under contract through the 2018 season at a cheap rate ($718,198) and can be cut without much of a financial consequence ($13,198), according to Spotrac. Chad Kelly is under contact as well while Osweiler has expressed his desire to return. None of them, however, are likely to be the starter if the Broncos are serious about contending next season. 

The Broncos could use the fifth overall pick to select their new quarterback, but as Marshall alluded to above, that method didn't work out so well the last time they used a first-round pick on a quarterback. Lynch, taken 26th overall in 2016, has appeared in five games and posted a 76.7 passer rating. It seems more likely that Elway will try to bring in someone more proven.

It could be Cousins, who has played under the franchise tag in each of the past two seasons. The Redskins could always franchise tag him again, but that would cost more than $34 million after they just spent nearly $44 million on him over the past two seasons. If Cousins does hit the market as a free agent, he will likely have many suitors. A variety of teams -- from the Browns to the Jaguars to the Broncos -- could be in the mix for a quarterback who ranks fourth in passing yards (13,176), eighth in touchdown passes (81), and sixth in passer rating (97.5) among quarterbacks with at least 16 starts since 2015.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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