Thursday, March 15, 2012
Updated: March 16, 6:11 PM ET
Brandon Marshall incident alerts NFL
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery said Thursday he has been contacted by the NFL regarding an incident involving Brandon Marshall last weekend in New York City, but said it's getting "far ahead of the process" to talk about possible suspensions.
A woman accused Marshall of striking her at a nightclub late Saturday night, adding to a long list of controversial incidents involving the wide receiver.
"It is a process," Emery said in a conference call with reporters. "The league has contacted us. We're in contact with the league. We're working through this process with them, along with ourselves and doing our own work. We will monitor the process and follow it through to its conclusion."
The Bears traded two third-round picks to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday for Marshall. News of the latest incident became public Tuesday night.
"What I can acknowledge is that we had a good trade partner in the Miami Dolphins and that [Dolphins GM] Jeff Ireland and I had a good conversation about all the facts he knew of the situation before the trade," Emery said. "I will acknowledge we were well aware of the situation.
"I'll also acknowledge we evaluated Brandon thoroughly before that. We had done our research. This came up toward the end of this process obviously. Jeff was very professional in his efforts to make sure that we knew everything that he knew of the situation. The rest of it we'll just have to follow through to its conclusion."
Emery and coach Lovie Smith said they are confident Marshall, who previously admitted he has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, will benefit from the veteran leadership in Chicago's locker room.
"I think we all do some things that we're not necessarily happy about," Smith said. "It's been documented, some of the problems Brandon has had in the past. He has acknowledged those. We know about those. We all felt real good about where we are right now.
"I know there are allegations out there right now. You can't really go on those. All the information we had on Brandon, we felt good about what we have in place here and him being a Bear."
Emery acknowledged that quarterback Jay Cutler, who played with Marshall in Denver and enjoyed two statistically successful seasons together with him, campaigned to acquire Marshall.
Cutler was on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 on Wednesday and said he's confident Marshall will stay out of trouble.
"I talked to Brandon [Monday], and I think he was bummed about it, the perception and everything, of him getting to Chicago and that being over his head," Cutler said. "Let's not judge him quite yet.
"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."
The Marshall trade was the first major move by Emery after replacing fired general manager Jerry Angelo, and it filled the Bears' biggest hole, giving them a go-to receiver for Cutler. That's something they'd been lacking since acquiring him in a trade with the Broncos, and it reunited him with one of his favorite targets in Denver.
Marshall made the Pro Bowl for the third time last year with 81 catches for 1,214 yards and six scores. But he has a long history of off-the-field problems.
The list includes a fight in 2007 in Denver that led to the drive-by slaying of the Broncos' Darrent Williams. Last year, Marshall's wife was arrested after he was stabbed in the abdomen during a domestic dispute. Charges were later dropped.
In July, Marshall disclosed he was diagnosed earlier in the year with borderline personality disorder, which stems from such things as a negative self-image and a fear of failure. Then, at midseason, he said efforts to keep his emotions on an even keel have hurt his play, and before a Monday night game he claimed his goal was to get ejected before halftime.
Despite Marshall's history, Emery insisted ownership was "very supportive" of the trade and the final decision was his. He even went out of his way to praise Marshall for being open about his condition, saying it "tells me a lot about his courage and the type of person he is."
The Bears are taking a risk, though.
Tank Johnson and Cedric Benson had their share of legal problems when they were with Chicago, and former receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on federal drug charges last season.
"We feel comfortable with [Marshall] being here right now," Smith said. "I don't know what else I can tell you. Phil wasn't here last year; I was here. I know what happened with Sam. We did our research then. We did it now, and I'm hoping the results will be a whole lot better."
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.