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Bengals interested in free agent LB Brandon Marshall, per report

Marshall has been with the Broncos since 2013.

Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

NFL free agency is underway as several teams have taken advantage of the legal tampering period that began today at 12 p.m. EST.

No free agent has officially been signed to a new team just yet, but franchises are well underway in getting into contact with unsigned players and even agreeing to terms on new deals.

Former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall isn’t one of the hottest names on the open market right now, but the Bengals are reportedly one of the five teams interested in his services for the 2019 season, per Benjamin Allbright.

Marshall was a fifth-round draft pick made by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, but played just five games with them. After spending most of that season on the practice squad, the Broncos signed him in 2013, where he then spent nearly all of that season on their practice squad.

2014 was Marshall’s first full season, and he exceeded expectations as a 13-game starter. In the 2015 offseason, Marshall was brought back as an exclusive-rights free agent and put together another great campaign in one of the NFL’s best defenses — the same one that carried Peyton Manning to his second Super Bowl victory.

Marshall was given a second-round tender by the Broncos early in the 2016 offseason, but eventually agreed to a four-year extension worth up to $32 million. After a solid 2016 season, Marshall’s average PFF grade from 2014-2016 was a 77.63.

From 2017-2018, his average grade was a 63.

After playing in 11 games last season, Denver decided not to pick up Marshall’s option for the 2019 season, which will make him a free agent on Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST when the NFL league year officially begins.

Marshall, who will turn 30 this September, has likely already played his best football. But he will not command a market-setting salary, and would provide value to what the Bengals currently have at the linebacker position.

After signing Karlos Dansby, Kevin Minter and Preston Brown all in the last three years, the Bengals have experience dabbling in the veteran linebacker market. If they are to sign Marshall, hopefully he nets them more value than the previous three.