For any other team, trading for receiver Brandon Marshall would be viewed as a calculated risk, with a potentially high reward. For the Bears, still only a few months away from the embarrassing revelation that receiver Sam Hurd was signed to a multi-million-dollar deal while firmly on the federal government’s radar as an aspiring Tony Montana, acquiring Marshall takes on a higher level of potential peril.
Marshall has a long history of off-field misconduct, most of which has come from his rocky relationships with women. But he also was a central figure in the fracas that preceded the shooting death of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, and Marshall disclosed last year that he has borderline personality disorder. (While the Bears shouldn’t avoid him for that reason, they’d better be sure that it’s under control.)
With the Bears missing what any competent security department should have easily discovered regarding Hurd, the question of whether the Bears should take a chance on Marshall now takes a back seat to whether the Bears knew or should have known about the new allegation that he punched a woman in the face over the weekend.
The league makes certain otherwise confidential information regarding players available — on request — if a team is considering adding that player to the roster. Presumably, the Bears asked all the right questions.
Regardless, they now look foolish. Either they knew about the latest off-field issue and decided to make the trade anyway or they didn’t know and appear to be even more incompetent given what happened (or, more accurately, didn’t happen) with Sam Hurd.
And so, even if there’s a way to argue that the Dolphins knew and failed to share the information with the league or the Bears, the Bears will simply be drawing more attention to their ineptitude on these matters by trying to annul the trade or otherwise demanding a partial refund or some other relief from the Dolphins.
Either way, it should make for some interesting questions at the press conference. Perhaps the best move would be not to have one.
UPDATE 8:53 a.m. ET: And, of course, three minutes after this item was posted, the Bears issued a statement acknowledging they knew about the situation.