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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Bears knew of Brandon Marshall incident

By Kevin Seifert

We wondered earlier if the Chicago Bears knew about an alleged Sunday morning fight involving receiver Brandon Marshall before they finalized a trade Tuesday to acquire him from the Miami Dolphins. Now we know: The answer is yes.

General manager Phil Emery issued a statement Wednesday morning saying in part: "Both the Bears and Dolphins were aware of what occurred over the weekend. We decided to move forward with the trade."

That means one of two things. Either the Bears are confident in the explanation Marshall's attorney has circulated -- that the fight didn't involve Marshall or his friends -- or they are prepared to absorb any NFL discipline Marshall receives as a result.

It's hard to see this as anything other than a calculated risk by the Bears. How much research could they have possibly done into an incident that occurred at 3:50 a.m. Sunday? The complaint wasn't filed until Monday evening, according to police, and NFL tampering rules would have prevented the Bears from speaking to Marshall about it.

Marshall had been a keynote speaker at a charity event in New York City, and according to the New York Post, he became involved in an argument outside a nightclub. The woman has accused Marshall of punching her in the left eye, but the Post reported it wasn't clear whether Marshall intended to punch her or someone else.

Regardless, I realize none of you are going to have much tolerance for someone with a history of domestic violence getting involved in this kind of incident. In Marshall's case, it's another in a long list of incidents that, if nothing else, suggests trouble finds him more often than most people. It does help explain why Marshall was available for a relatively low bounty of two third-round picks, and all we I can say is that I eagerly await his personal explanation -- and not one from his attorney.