Yesterday, Miami Dolphins fans everywhere were stunned by the news that the team had traded Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears. Even more surprising was the compensation the Dolphins received in return for Marshall - two third-round draft picks. Now, news that Marshall was involved in an altercation in New York City could explain the low cost for the Bears to acquire Marshall.
According to a police report in New York City and a New York Post report, Marshall was at a night club this weekend. At the club was a woman, Christin Myles, who was celebrating her birthday. Around 4 a.m., Myles left the upper floor of the club, only to be told she could not immediately return. According to Myles, she was told that Marshall and an unnamed football player were involved in a fight, and both were being thrown out of the club.
Myles rejoined her friends outside the club, only to find Marshall and the other player arguing with members of Myles' group. At some point, Myles alleges in the police report, Marshall punched he in the left eye, giving her a black eye. It is unclear if Marshall intended to punch Myles, or was swinging for someone else, according to the Post's story.
However, Marshall is denying any involvement in the incident. A statement released by Marshall's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, states:
"On March 12,2012 Brandon Marshall was the key note 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.
"While at the function a fight broke out NOT involving Mr. Marshall or his friends. While attempting to leave to avoid the melee Mrs. Marshall was struck in the face by a thrown bottle. She suffered serious injury.
"While attempting to leave and take his wife to the hospital, the mayhem continued outside. Finally Mr. Marshall was able to take his wife to the hospital where she was treated for serious injuries.
"Mr. Marshall is hoping to assist authorities in regards to this matter."
Marshall has a history of questionable decisions and run-ins with authorities. Less than a year ago, Marshall was stabbed by his wife in the abdomen, but no charges were ever pressed by Marshall. As a member of the Denver Broncos in 2007, Marshall was involved in a New Year's Eve fight that ended with the drive-by shooting that killed teammate Darrent Williams.
In 2008, the league suspended Marshall for three games for multiple domestic violence complaints. The suspension was ultimately reduced to one game. In 2009, the Broncos suspended Marshall for the final two games of the preseason, after multiple practice incidents, including punting a football off of the practice field.
Marshall has also had multiple arrests, including the domestic violence complaints, along with drunken driving and disorderly conduct incidents.
With all of this history, Marshall could be facing a multiple game suspension if these newest allegations are found to be true. Which, would explain the seemingly low price the Bears had to pay. According to a statement released this morning by Bears general manager Phil Emery, the incident was known by both the Bears and the Dolphins as the trade was made:
"Both the Bears and Dolphins were aware of what occurred over the weekend," Emery said in the statement. "We decided to move forward with the trade. We have high expectations for Brandon as a Bear."
With the possibility of a suspension, and with a history like Marshall's, it could be a lengthy suspension, the Bears' are either confident that Marshall's side of the story is true, or they are willing to deal with the loss of Marshall for a portion of the season. With that possibility, two third-round draft picks makes sense for Marshall.
The Bears are excited about reuniting Marshall with his former Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Dolphins are said to be looking for a wide receiver, possibly targeting former Dallas Cowboys wide out Laurent Robinson. Miami could also be looking to leverage multiple picks to move up in April's NFL Draft to select a wide receiver.