The Denver Post tells the story.
At the AFC coaches' breakfast March 23, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said he didn't think Marshall would be a good fit for his team. The media crossed off Miami as a potential destination.
Later that day, McGuire met with executives of the Seahawks, Jets and Buccaneers. The Jets were ready to present Marshall with an offer sheet, which would have meant surrendering their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, to the Broncos.
Marshall not only would have given young Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez a No. 1 target, he would have helped the franchise create a splash as it fights for media attention with the Giants as the teams get ready to share a new stadium.
The Broncos would have gladly taken that No. 29 pick. The Jets, though, could not come up with a long-term contract that satisfied Marshall. There was no sense submitting an offer sheet if Marshall wasn't going to sign long term.
The Jets then began pursuing other receivers, eventually acquiring Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round draft pick.
Sometimes the trade you don't make is the best one. The Jets got their top flight receiver for a substantially lower price and kept their first round pick. Not only that, but Holmes has the motivation of a contract year, while Marshall would have just cashed in.