Just two days before the Bears made official a trade to acquire him, Brandon Marshall found himself in a familiar situation -- the wrong place at the wrong time.
Perhaps that is how the talented yet often troubled wide receiver can best explain what happened outside a New York club in the early morning hours Sunday when he says a thrown bottle struck his wife in the face, seriously injuring her. In a contrary version of the incident, a 24-year-old woman told police Marshall cold-cocked her, leaving her with a black eye.
Marshall is scheduled to face the media Friday at Halas Hall along with new backup quarterback Jason Campbell.
Marshall's list of off-field incidents, including multiple allegations of violence against women, is as thick as a Mike Martz playbook. In this instance, the Bears say they knew about the disturbance Tuesday before trading two third-round draft picks to the Dolphins, who were dumping the MVP of the 2012 Pro Bowl so new coach Joe Philbin wouldn't have to deal with him.
"Both the Bears and Dolphins were aware of what occurred over the weekend," Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. "We decided to move forward with the trade. We have high expectations for Brandon as a Bear."
A question worth pondering is if the Bears knew about this, why didn't they elect to take more time to gather facts before pulling the trigger? As the bargain price for a 27-year-old with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons suggests, the Dolphins didn't have teams vying to make a deal. Marshall has been suspended once for violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, and a second violation could lead to a more serious punishment.
Marshall's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, called Marshall and his wife the victims in the episode and said his client looks forward to assisting authorities in their investigation.
"Brandon has always held himself accountable," his agent, Kennard McGuire, told the Tribune. "He will always have my unflinching and unwavering support. I caution the public not to judge, especially when he and his wife are the victims."
Marshall's history includes a DUI arrest, charges of assaulting a police officer and attempting to return stolen merchandise to a store. But the majority of the incidents involve disputes with women as police reports have been filed in Florida, Georgia, Colorado and now New York. His wife stabbed him in the abdomen at their home last April claiming she acted in self-defense. He also was involved in a fracas at a Denver nightclub that led to the shooting death of Broncos teammate Darrent Williams.
As a standard procedure, the NFL will look into the latest matter.
Emery, who has not spoken publicly since his introductory news conference in January, said then that he places high value on character.
"Moving forward when you're looking at players, you're looking at tools that they have, the physical skills or talents that they have and the traits they have or their character, their work ethic, passion, reliability, accountability, the type of people they are to the community," Emery said.
The Bears are coming off the embarrassment of waiving wide receiver Sam Hurd in December after a federal drug sting. Hurd is awaiting trial on charges he tried to sell 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana. But Hurd was signed primarily as a special teams player and Marshall is an elite talent. It just so happens his past is more checkered than those of Tank Johnson and Cedric Benson before the Bears released them.
Marshall revealed to the Sun Sentinel last summer he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that leads those who suffer from it to struggle with relationships, mood control and emotions. In between his stabbing and this New York altercation, his record was clean.
The hope has to be with treatment and support he can remain in good standing with the league, his employer and teammates.
There are three years remaining on Marshall's contract at a total of $28.1 million. His base salary this season is $9.3 million, of which $6 million is guaranteed. According to Fox Sports, that guarantee voids in the event the NFL suspends him, leaving a lot riding on this latest accusation.
Surely, the Bears would prefer to pay the full amount to Marshall knowing he really was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Brandon Marshall revealed to the Sun Sentinel last summer that he has been diagnosed with BPD.
What is it? Experts say people with BPD have pervasive patterns of unstable emotions. These "inner experiences," according to an article in PubMedHealth, "often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships." The disorder was officially recognized by the psychiatric community in 1980.
What are the causes? Exact causes are not fully understood, but social factors, family turbulence and genetics often play roles.
How is it diagnosed? "BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms," according to PubMedHealth.
What are the symptoms? According to MayoClinic.com, people with BPD exhibit "impulsive and risky behavior, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use; inappropriate anger; intense but short episodes of anxiety or depression."
How is it treated? "In the past few decades, treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder has changed radically, and, in turn, the prognosis for improvement and/or recovery has significantly improved," says the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder. Treatments include talk therapy, group therapy and regular visits with experienced clinicians. Medications can help level mood swings and treat depression.