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Broncos WR Marshall still has legal issues to sort out before 2009 season

Brandon Marshall isn't in the clear just yet.  

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Brandon Marshall isn't in the clear just yet.

Although the NFL decided that the Denver Broncos' Pro Bowl wide receiver won't face a suspension over his March arrest for fighting with his fiancee in Atlanta, Marshall still has a legal cloud hanging over him as he rehabilitates from hip surgery.

Marshall is scheduled to go on trial next week in Atlanta on two misdemeanor battery charges stemming from a March 6, 2008 arrest involving his former girlfriend, Rasheeda Watley. However, Marshall's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the trial will be postponed.

The outcome of that case could subject Marshall to punishment from the NFL, even though it was part of what triggered his summons to league commissioner Roger Goodell's office last summer, when the wide receiver was suspended for the season opener after a series of police-related incidents involving Watley.

"The discipline he received last year (one-game suspension without pay plus an additional fine of one game check) did not include the resolution of the March '08 incident, which is pending," league spokesman Greg Aiello told The AP.

"The pending case will be subject to review when appropriate," Aiello said. "The notification he received from our office (Tuesday) applied only to the March 1 incident of this year."

In that case, Marshall and his new fiancee, Michi Leshase Nogami-Campbell, got into a fight in Atlanta on March 1. Charges of disturbing the peace were dropped the next day when Marshall and Nogami-Campbell refused to testify against each other.

Steinberg shot down speculation that he wanted the trial on the 2008 incident delayed until after the season so Marshall could make it through the season before he would be subject to any possible penalties from the NFL.

"My attitude is let's see what happens in court," Steinberg said. "There's all this speculation about what punishment he could face. Mr. Marshall maintains his innocence, and we're looking forward to this trial."

Steinberg added that he wants the trial rescheduled for later this summer so that it's over by the time the season starts.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels demurred when asked what he thought of the potential punishment still hanging over Marshall's head for repeated violations of the league's code of conduct.

"It's out of our control," McDaniels said. "That's something that's a league issue and whatever they come down with or whatever they decide, then we've got to deal with it, and we'll do it at that time. But there's nothing we can worry about."

Marshall is rehabbing from March 31 hip surgery and hopes to be ready by training camp in late July. Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, said his client is rehabbing at his home in Orlando, Fla., and his absence from the Broncos' voluntary minicamp this week isn't a ploy to seek a contract re-negotiation.

Marshall is due $2.2 million this season in the final year of a four-year contract that he signed as a rookie. Although he has posted back-to-back 100-catch seasons and made the Pro Bowl this year, there are questions about what kind of player he'll be coming off hip surgery.

Marshall caught 104 passes for 1,265 yards and six TDs last season. However, he dropped 18 on-target passes, something he blamed on the nerve damage in his right arm, which he said he put through a television set while horsing around with his brother one year ago during the offseason.

McDaniels said he wishes Marshall were rehabbing in Denver but doesn't hold it against him and is confident the wide receiver would attend the Broncos' mandatory minicamp June 12-14. McDaniels also said there's still plenty of time for Marshall to learn the new offense the coach is installing in place of Mike Shanahan's old West Coast system.

"There'll be plenty of time. We have a lot of practices in August," McDaniels said. "None of our injured players are out here. So, that's just kind of a standard procedure for us. He wouldn't be out here, either.

"And he's had plenty of opportunity to learn this spring. Again, these are voluntary sessions, so he doesn't have to be here, and nobody does. So the curve is the same as it is for everybody else. He'll have enough time to get caught up when he's healthy and ready to go."

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