Congratulations on your new wide receiver, Chicago! Now, here’s his baggage
Brandon Marshall is a…colorful personality. That’s one way to say it. The other way? The guy is nucking futs and has had the off-field issues to prove it. While in Denver, Marshall enjoyed numerous scrapes with the law, tragically including the altercation that escalated into the drive-by shooting and killing of teammate Darrent Williams (Marshall testified that he “probably escalated the situation” during the trial), and then wore out his welcome with the team and front office by being a headache (wearing pajamas to practice, punting footballs away from drills) to force a trade to Miami. While with Miami, he grew even crazier, called Chad Henne “White Vick,” promised to go “beast mode” on Darelle Revis and get himself kicked out of a game (he decided to drop some touchdowns and run out of bounds instead), and got stabbed by his wife in the abdomen. In all, Marshall has had run-ins with the law for disorderly conduct, drunken driving, and a number of alleged incidents of domestic violence. He makes up for it by being a pain in the ass with a case of the dropsies, though.
However, the man is talented, and that’s why the Bears shipped two third round picks (one this year, one in 2013) to the Miami Dolphins to reunite the troubled wide receiver with his former Broncos teammate and favorite quarterback Jay Cutler (Marshall owns a painting of the two of them together). The Bears finally get that number one receiver they’ve been searching for, they get rid of a few more draft picks which they always love to do, they’re suddenly being talked about as the best offense in the NFC North. What could possibly go wrong? Oh wait, Brandon Marshall may have punched a woman in the face at her birthday party, as B-Marsh is known to do.
Two days before the trade between the Bears and Dolphins, Brandon Marshall was out at a night club in New York City around 4 am (when all the best stuff happens) when Brandon Marshall punched a woman in the face, according to the woman, Christin Myles. According to reports, Myles and her friends were at the night club celebrating her birthday when she got separated from her friends while Marshall and another unnamed football player were involved in an argument. Marshall and the other player were being removed from the club which kept Myles from re-joining her party. Myles and her friends later ran into Marshall again oustide, where her group got into a verbal altercation with Marshall and his group. Then, Marshall allegedly punched Myles in the left eye, leaving her with a black eye, but it’s unclear whether Marshall intentionally punched Myles in the face of if he was aiming for one of her friends.
The Bears have come out in support of Marshall, saying they were aware of the incident and went ahead with the trade regardless, supposedly because they didn’t feel anything would come from the police investigation. Other reports, however, according to Adam Schefter at ESPN, are saying that the Bears knew there was an incident but had no idea about the investigation by police. Marshall’s buddy Jay Cutler says that he has a “good idea” about what happened and thinks his new receiver will come out of this unscathed. Cutler admitted that Marshall does have “a record of this stuff,” but stands by his old buddy, calling him a good teammate and “a heck of a player.” Marshall’s attorney, who has been a busy guy since Marshall became an NFL player, predictably denies the whole thing on behalf of his client.
“Brandon Marshall was the keynote speaker at a charitable event in New York. After the event was over he, his wife and close friends attended a function at a local club,” the statement said. “While at the function a fight broke out NOT involving Mr. Marshall or his friends.”
His lawyer went on to claim that it was in fact Marshall’s wife who was the victim, getting struck in the face with a bottle which caused “serious” injuries that required hospitalization. Everyone’s just lucky she didn’t find that bottle, or she would have broken it and went on a stab-fest the likes of which that club had never seen.
So what will come of this? Well, unfortunately for Marshall, his history is working against him. With a record of domestic violence and club altercations, the police don’t have a lot of reason to doubt that he could have hit a woman outside of a club. If Marshall avoids prosecution, he may still face the Ginger Wrath of the NFL, as commissioner Goodell has the power under the player conduct policy to suspend players for repeated bad behavior off the field. Marshall has plenty of priors in that respect, including a three-game suspension in 2008 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy (which was later reduced to one game), so it isn’t hard to imagine the league flexing it’s “tsk-tsk” muscle on Marshall again. In short, Bears fans may have to wait a few extra games before their new and improved offense gets to take the field together.