On Tuesday afternoon as soon as NFL free agency started, one of the first stories to hit the news wires was the Chicago Bears trade for Miami Dolphins’ Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The team gave up two third-round picks for the player.
Marshall is being perceived as the big target Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been looking for in his past three seasons. I guess Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Roy Williams aren’t cutting it as any Bears fan knows.
So the team finally went out and got one in the free agency market for its big-armed quarterback.
On paper, Marshall is a great choice. He played with Cutler when the two were on the Denver Broncos; he was Cutler’s most-targeted receiver. They two have been open about their chemistry and this winter, they courted each other for a NFL reunion.
Mission accomplished. But now the new relationship may have already hit a snag after only 24 hours.
It appears that Marshall maybe got into a little bit of trouble this past weekend in New York City. According to police, a woman filed a complaint against him, alleging that he punched her in the face early Sunday morning at the Marquee nightclub.
Both teams allegedly knew about the incident before the trade occured.
Marshall’s side of the story is a fight did break out but neither he nor his friends were involved.
Cutler immediately came to Marshall’s defense on Wednesday and said,
“I talked to Brandon yesterday, and I think he was bummed about it, the perception and everything, of him getting to Chicago and that being over his head. Let’s not judge him quite yet.”
He then added,
“I know he has a checkered past, and Brandon is the first one to stand up and admit to that. But I know deep down he’s a good guy. He made some mistakes, but going forward I see nothing but bright things for the guy.”
I am sure Bears Nation was horrified by the allegations as I was, but Cutler said, he knows he has a past.
I am sure the Bears new GM Phil Emery and coach Lovie Smith are aware of this.
What I think is more disturbing and sad is the fact that Marshall said last year that he has a borderline personality disorder.
This is something that needs to be treated and I imagine can resurface.
But as they/I always say the NFL is the league of second chances, sometimes third (see Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, Cedric Benson–just to name a few). More than other coaches, I believe Smith doesn’t want drama on his team and wants “good” people.
While a talented player, the Bears did get rid of Tank Johnson after some of his troubles.
Yes Marshall is a talented player and yes, the Bears need him. While Marshall’s off-the-field behavior is a concern, he does deserve a chance to perform and behave before Bears fans begin judging and criticizing him.