Bears get Marshall and his baggage

The Chicago Bears signed former Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall — MVP of this year's Pro...

The Chicago Bears signed former Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall — MVP of this year's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The bad news is ... Marshall always seems to be in some kind of trouble with the law. (REUTERS)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

When they made the deal to get a go-to receiver for Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears knew they were getting Brandon Marshall ... and trouble to be named later.

But news of the latest trouble got to Chicago almost before Marshall.

Even for him, this has to be a record. Less than a day after the trade brought him from Miami, a woman has filed a complaint alleging Marshall punched her in the face during a weekend altercation outside Manhattan’s Marquee nightclub.

Police are investigating. The NFL is investigating. The Bears? They’re not investigating, saying they knew about the incident but made the trade anyway.

For someone named Marshall, he’s not so much Wyatt Earp as he is Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid. In 2007, he was involved in a New Year’s Eve altercation that preceded the drive-by slaying of Broncos teammate Darrent Williams. In testimony during the trial of Willie Clark, the man found guilty of murder in Williams’ death, Marshall said he “probably escalated the situation” at a Denver club.

In 2008, the league suspended Marshall three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

His history of arrests also includes disorderly conduct, drunken driving and a number of incidents of alleged domestic violence. His wife was arrested a little less than a year ago after he was stabbed in the abdomen with a kitchen knife during a domestic dispute. Charges were later dropped.

What happened this time is open to conjecture.

Marshall’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said in a statement that Marshall and his friends were not involved in the melee. “Brandon Marshall was the keynote speaker at a charitable event in New York. After the event was over he, his wife and close friends attended a function at a local club,” the statement said. “While at the function a fight broke out NOT involving Mr. Marshall or his friends.”

Marshall has not been charged. Yet.

A New York Post report, however, said that Marshall allegedly got into an argument with a group celebrating a birthday at the club. According to the Post, Christin Myles, the woman celebrating a birthday, briefly left an upper floor of the club. Upon returning, the paper reported, Myles was told to wait because Marshall allegedly was involved in a fight with an unnamed football player and both players were being removed from the club.

Myles eventually met with her friends outside, the Post said, and found the 6-foot-4 Marshall and the unnamed player arguing with her group. Marshall then allegedly punched Myles in the left eye, leaving her with a black eye. It wasn’t clear if Marshall intentionally struck Myles or if he meant to hit one of her friends, according to the report.

Steinberg said that while Marshall and his wife were attempting to leave the club, Marshall’s wife was hit in the face with a bottle and suffered “serious” injuries that required hospitalization.

Marshall wore out his welcome in Denver partly because of recurrent legal issues and conflicts with former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. In Miami, he and quarterback Chad Henne clashed.

“It’s unfortunate that this came out when it did,” said Cutler, who played three seasons in Denver with Marshall. “We don’t want to paint a bad picture of Brandon Marshall. Does he have a record of stuff in the past? Absolutely, but I know him as a person, not only as a player, and he truly is a good guy. We got a good teammate and we got a heck of a player.”

ORTON CAN PUSH ROMO

Kyle Orton got pushed out of Chicago by Jay Cutler.

He got pushed out of Denver by the Tim Tebow mania.

Now, he’s going to do a little pushing himself.

Orton reached agreement with the Cowboys on a three-year deal to become the strong veteran presence (some might suggest, the competition) that Tony Romo needs.

Dallas tried to grab Orton off waivers last season when he was released by Denver but he ended up finishing the season in Kansas City.

Orton doesn’t have the raw talent of Romo but he is not a bad quarterback, starting 69 career games for Chicago, Denver and Kansas City with 80 touchdown passes and 57 interceptions. The Cowboys wanted someone they felt comfortable with finishing games if Romo gets dinged. Someone they can rely on for a game or two, like they did with the retired Jon Kitna.

Orton fills that need. He helped the Chiefs end Green Bay’s run at a perfect record with a 19-14 victory in December, becoming the only quarterback to beat the Packers in the regular season.

He struggled in Denver with a 1-4 start that earned him a ticket out of town as head coach John Fox succumbed to Tebowmania. But he helped KC win four of its last seven — which was a better run than most analysts expected.

He was hoping for a starting job, but with none available, signed with the Cowboys where he might yet get the chance considering how often Romo gets injured. And, if he pushes Romo to raise his game, even better for the Cowboys. Either way, he should find a comfortable fit in Dallas, having played for quarterback coach Wade Wilson in Chicago.

COWBOYS CORNER CARR

The Dallas Cowboys got their man: Cornerback Brandon Carr. Five-years, $50.1 million.

It gives Carr the richest free-agent deal awarded to a cornerback, $100,000 more than Cortland Finnegan’s reported deal with St. Louis.

But it also gives the Cowboys the big physical player they needed in a secondary they were desperate to upgrade. It was a weakness they could ill afford in a division that includes some big, fast receivers such as DeSean Jackson and Hakeem Nicks.

So, getting Carr became Job One.

After Finnegan signed with the Rams, after hearing Carlos Rogers hook up with the 49ers and Eric Wright go to Tampa, it was Carr ... or bust.

While pricey, Carr may yet prove the best.

According to Pro Football Focus, Carr allowed just 39 receptions last year with the Chiefs and had four interceptions and 13 pass deflections. He’s only 26 and will join Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick as the team’s top three cornerbacks.

BREES DEFENDS TARNISHED SAINTS

The halo may be a bit tarnished but Drew Brees says that the Saints aren’t bad guys.

The quarterback has come to the defence of his teammates in wake of the bounty controversy.

“The whole thing is very disappointing and certainly alarming,” Brees said on a radio program. “The thing that I want to make people know is I think the perception is we’ve got this locker room full of hit men. And that’s not the case at all.”

He did agree there is no place in the NFL for bounties.

“For a lot of us this was just as shocking as it was embarrassing,” Brees said. “There’s no place for that in our sport or any sport.”

FEEL BETTER?

DeSean Jackson got his security. It just came from an unexpected source. The Eagles, upset with Jackson’s nonchalant approach last season, put aside any differences and signed the talented but enigmatic receiver to a five-year, $47 million deal.

Jackson seemed more concerned with staying healthy than producing when the club declined to give him a long-term deal last year. Now that he doesn’t have to be concerned if there’ll be another big paycheque, maybe he can start worrying about producing again.

QUICK HITS

The Chiefs signed running back Peyton Hillis and with Jamaal Charles returning from a torn ACL it sets up a bash-and-dash backfield as KC returns to a run-first offence ... Bears’ coach Lovie Smith believes tight end Kellen Davis has a high upside. Now he gets him back as Davis re-signed for two years ... The Giants needed a tight end after losing Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard to torn ACLs in the Super Bowl. Wednesday they signed Martellus Bennett. Better yet, they got him at the expense of division rival Dallas.

The Bengals suffered two big losses with New England taking versatile defensive end/tackle Jon Fanene, who had a career high 6.5 sacks last season, and the Browns signing away defensive end Frostee Rucker. Cincy is talking to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis ... The Jags signed Laurent Robinson who had a breakout year with 54 catches and 858 yards when he filled in for Cowboys’ regulars Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. Now all Jacksonville needs is someone who can throw him the ball ... Saints hired Henry Ellard as receivers coach ... Derek Anderson squeezed another one-year deal out of Carolina as backup to Cam Newton. If all goes as planned he won’t call a snap.

Minnesota didn’t let tight end John Carlson leave on his scheduled NFL tour, signing him to a five-year, $25 million deal ... The Bears’ signed two quarterbacks. Jason Campbell couldn’t find a starter’s job so he took a one-year stop-gap deal to back up Jay Cutler. Josh McCown gets a one-year deal to be the guy getting all the TV face-time flashing signals from the sideline.

Arizona signed offensive lineman Adam Snyder, formerly of division-rival 49ers ... Paul Soliai got a two-year, $12 million deal to stay in Miami ... Chargers believe Jared Gaither, only 26, can be better than the departed Marcus McNeill. Now the 6-foot-9, 340-pound lineman gets to prove it, signing up for four years ... The Colts swapped sixth-round picks with the Eagles to get Winston Justice, who will fill Indianapolis’ trouble spot at right tackle. They also signed defensive end Cory Redding, another sign Dwight Freeney is on the trading block.


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