Brandon Marshall: Is No News Good News?

PunkusAnalyst IMay 5, 2009

There are some players in the NFL that are just difficult to figure out; players that have amazing talent and yet seem to find ways to jeopardize their potential with injuries and off-field issues.  Some of these guys get into messes because they are immature, others because they are thugs, some seek attention, and some people are just unlucky.

The Denver Broncos have a player who perfect exemplifies a player who, for whatever reason, cannot keep his name out of the headlines and himself out of trouble.  His name is Brandon Marshall.   

When we look at B-Marsh's history in the league, it is one that is plagued with injury and with controversy.


In 2006, Marshall suffered a slight tear to his PCL in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions. This injury only sidelined Brandon for a couple of weeks. He was able to return and play in 15 games during the regular season in his rookie year.  Despite his injury and only starting one game, he caught 20 balls for 309 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season.


In 2007, Marshall again sustained injuries before the start of the 2007 season. He suffered a groin strain that kept him out of Broncos' preseason camps during May and June. Then Brandon also pulled his quad during a mini-camp that left him out for nearly all of training camp.

In March 2007, Marshall was also arrested on suspicion of domestic violence after his girlfriend reported that following a domestic dispute, he prevented a taxi she was in from leaving his house. Charges from the incident were later dismissed after Marshall completed anger management counseling.

Then in October 2007, Marshall was arrested for DUI. Marshall pled down to a reduced charge of driving while ability impaired. He was sentenced to one-year probation and 24 hours of community service.

Marshall had a breakout year in his sophomore season, catching 102 passes for 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns.


In 2008, Marshall again got himself injured.  This time he slipped on an empty McDonald's bag while wrestling with family members, and subsequently fell through a television set at his home in Orlando, Florida, cutting his right forearm.

According to Broncos head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos, Marshall "sustained right forearm lacerations to one artery, one vein, one nerve, two tendons, and three muscles."

He was treated at a local hospital and later released after needing a cast and several stitches. In early April, Marshall had the cast removed from his surgically repaired right forearm and was in a sling until May.  He was cleared in late June to practice with the Broncos. 

He later revealed that his right hand was numb during the entire 2008 season.

In June 2008, Marshall was also ticketed for an illegal lane change, then found to be without his license and proof of insurance. The case was eventually dropped as part of a plea bargain.

In September 2008, Marshall had misdemeanor battery charges filed against him by a County in Georgia for an alleged incident in March 2008 in Atlanta. Marshall was booked, then released the next day after posting a $1,000 cash bond.

As a result of Marshall's continued off-field issues, he officially received a three-game suspension from the NFL, which was later reduced to a one-game suspension and a fine.

It seemed that Marshall was getting the picture after sitting down with Commissioner Roger Goodell and that these off-field issues were going to be a thing of the past.

Marshall had an another amazing season, catching 104 balls for 1265 yards and six touchdowns (in only 15 games, due to suspension).  Marshall had established himself as one of the best wide receivers in the game, earning himself his first Pro Bowl appearance.


Brandon Marshall was named a starter in the Pro Bowl, and while in Hawaii he proposed to his now fiancé, Michi Nogami-Campbell. Many people saw this as a good sign that their relationship had moved beyond the issues that led Marshall to have altercations with the police.

Then in March of 2009, out of nowhere, Brandon Marshall had hip surgery to repair an aggravated hip that bothered him during the 2008 season. His recovery time is expected to last until training camp in late July.

Also in March, Marshall was arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct after allegedly being involved in a fight with his fiancé. Marshall was released on a $300 bond.  The charges were dropped the following day. He may still be disciplined by the NFL for repeated violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Brandon Marshall has had an impressive professional career.  In just three years, he has caught 226 balls for 2,899 yards and 15 touchdowns, has started in a Pro Bowl, and has established himself as a top-tier receiver in the NFL. 

I both take pause at the fact that he seems to get himself injured every year and I admire the way he is able to play through his injuries, still being able to compete at such a high level.

The big question right now with Brandon is, how many games is he going to play in 2009?  It is expected that Commissioner Goodell will issue him another suspension, given that he was involved in another situation that led to the police being called. But he has yet to do so.

This could be good news.

Given the fact that the charges for which he was arrested were dropped the following day means that there was not enough evidence for the police themselves to press charges and that nobody else wanted charges to be pressed.  

It is my understanding that someone called the police to report a domestic dispute.  When this, happens the cops are bringing the parties at that address in no matter what the circumstances are that they find at that scene. 

The people in that residence could be laughing and watching TV, but authorities will still bring you in because they cannot take a chance that things were not violent before and a victim is too scared to tell the truth of what happened for fear of repercussions.

Therefore, this recent situation that Brandon was in could have been a huge misunderstanding.  Sometimes people fight (verbally) and sometimes people have loud arguments, but that does not necessarily mean that abuse occurred.  The fact that no charges were filed tells me that this was probably just a misunderstanding.  

Either way, Marshall and/or his fiancé probably have communication issues they need to work out.

All this being said, the commissioner could let this one slide (if he so chooses) without suspension. The fact that he has not addressed this situation publicly yet may mean that it is not going to be addressed at all.  Given the circumstances (since there were no charges filed), it may not warrant suspension.

Many speculated that if a suspension was going to occur that Goodell would do it before the draft to give the Broncos a chance to account for his absence in their draft plans.  Goodell's silence, even now, could mean Brandon got lucky this time.

I hope that there is no suspension in Marshall's future.  Some pundits have speculated that Marshall could be facing up to an eight game suspension.  If that were to occur, it would be a devastating blow to the Broncos' offense.  

When Brandon's on the field, you need to account for him; you need to recognize his ability.  He opens up the field for other players to get open and make plays.  Without his presence, it makes things that much more difficult for Denver's offense.

Brandon Marshall is a great football player, but he needs to find a way to keep himself injury-free and keep himself away from situations that could end with him having to talk to the police.  

I hope to see Marshall on the field all season long.  I hope that the commissioner does not penalize Brandon with a suspension because of a misunderstanding where police found no crime being committed. 

I hope Marshall recovers from his hip surgery and comes back to the Broncos even better physically than he was last year.  I hope he can develop a chemistry with Kyle Orton so they can hoop up with each other on the field to score some points. 

It's up to the commissioner, and ultimately up to Brandon.  He has had success as an athlete, but now he needs to take that success with him off the field to his personal life to make him a better person and allow him to continue to do the latter.


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