Monday, March 2, 2009
Marshall's charge from fight dismissed
DENVER -- Denver Broncos star receiver Brandon Marshall faces a possible suspension even though a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a fight with his fiance was dismissed in an Atlanta court Monday.
Municipal Judge Clinton Deveaux dismissed the case after Marshall and his fiance, Michi Leshase Nogami-Campbell, both of whom were charged with disorderly conduct, refused to testify against each other.
Despite being in the clear from a legal standpoint, the Pro Bowl receiver might still be disciplined for repeated violations of the league's personal conduct code, which gives commissioner Roger Goodell the authority to punish players.
"We will [still] look into it," league spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Monday after the case against Marshall was dropped.
Marshall, who was jailed for five hours Sunday morning after his fourth arrest in three years, is looking at possibly beginning the season at home just like he did last year. Marshall was banned from the opener following seven police-related incidents with his former girlfriend.
If he's penalized again, it will likely be for much longer.
Repeat offenders of the league's conduct policy, such as Tank Johnson and Chris Henry, have received eight-game suspensions. Adam "Pacman" Jones was suspended for the 2007 season after repeated run-ins with the law.
"It's always a concern whenever the league is looking into things," Marshall's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, said. "We'll deal with it. ... I'm hopeful the league will treat us fairly and appropriately as they've done in the past."
Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said the team has no comment.
The team's new brain trust of general manager Brian Xanders and coach Josh McDaniels were already dealing with the fallout from trade talks with franchise quarterback Jay Cutler over the weekend when Marshall got into trouble again.
Marshall, who turns 25 this month, was suspended for three games last season but he and Steinberg successfully had the punishment whittled to one game plus two paychecks totaling $52,352 when Marshall pledged to stay off the police blotter.
According to the police report, Marshall got into a heated argument early Sunday morning at his home in Atlanta with Nogami-Campbell.
Marshall told officers that he feared for his fiance's safety when she tried to leave his house because she's from Orlando, Fla., and isn't familiar with the city of Atlanta.
While police looked on, the argument escalated and Marshall and his fiance began kicking and punching each other on the sidewalk outside his home, according to the report.
Neither one needed medical attention, and both of them were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the Atlanta City Jail about 6 a.m. Sunday. They posted bond about five hours later and were ordered to court Monday morning, where charges against both were dismissed.
Marshall's latest arrest puts a crimp in his plans to seek a huge contract as one of the league's top receivers. He's due $2.2 million this season in the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a rookie.
His agent, Kennard McGwire, didn't respond to requests for comment.
Marshall caught 104 passes for 1,265 yards and six TDs last season. But he dropped 18 on-target passes, something he blamed on the nerve damage in his right arm, which he put through a television set while horsing around with his brother in the offseason.
In three NFL seasons, Marshall has caught 226 passes for 2,899 yards and 15 touchdowns, although he's fumbled eight times, losing four.
Marshall's latest arrest came the same weekend Cutler, a fellow 2006 draft pick who also made his first trip to the Pro Bowl last month, became indignant upon after learning McDaniels talked about trading him for Matt Cassel, whom he tutored in New England last year.