Brandon Marshall paused to collect himself a couple times as he talked about joining the Chicago Bears and his bond with Jay Cutler. The wide receiver spoke eloquently about raising awareness of mental illness and the borderline personality disorder that has affected his life so deeply.
After a rocky but productive start to his NFL career, Marshall is hoping for a long stay in Chicago, and he's pledging to be a star on and off the field for the Bears.
"Hopefully, this is not a pit stop," said Marshall, who joined new backup quarterback Jason Campbell for an introductory news conference Friday. "Hopefully, this is where I end my career, and this is some place that I can call home. I am going to do everything I can to be an asset to this team and this community and prove to Chicago that I'm here to stay."
The Bears acquired Marshall from Miami on Tuesday, sending two third-round draft picks to the Dolphins to obtain the No. 1 target they have been lacking for years. The deal also reunites Marshall with Cutler, a duo that was one of the NFL's most potent connections while they were in Denver.
But the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall comes with a checkered history, including a nightclub incident just days ago.
New York City police say a woman has filed a complaint alleging Marshall punched her in the face at a nightclub over the weekend. He has not been charged in the incident, which the woman says occurred at 3:50 a.m. Sunday outside the Marquee in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein said Friday he had been retained by Christin Myles, and they met with detectives for 45 minutes on Thursday.
"She described to them in detail what happened on the sidewalk in front of the nightclub Marquee and told detectives Brandon Marshall hauled back and punched her in the face, hitting her eye and caused her to be violently thrown to the ground," Rubenstein said in a release.
According to a statement provided to Fox Sports on Tuesday, Marshall's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said a fight broke out that did not involve his client or his friends. He said Marshall's wife was struck in the face by a thrown bottle and "suffered serious injury" as they were leaving the club. Steinberg, who has not returned repeated calls seeking comment, said Marshall's wife was taken to a hospital and that Marshall "is hoping to assist authorities in regards to this matter."
"I think once the process has taken its course my wife and I will be shone in the light that we should be. My wife is recovering. She's better. She's fine," Marshall said before a long pause. "She's also excited for this opportunity for our family."
"Regarding that matter, I really can't go into much detail and I know you guys understand that as far as the legal system. But in due time I think that the truth will be out and we're excited about that."
Marshall said he doesn't expect to be suspended by the NFL, and the police had not expressed interest in talking to him as of Friday morning.
Marshall's long history of off-the-field problems 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. He spent some time last offseason receiving treatment at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and is looking forward to continuing his effort to raise awareness of the disorder through the nonprofit organization Project Borderline.
"Now I'm in a position where I'm healthy and I want to be one of the faces and one of the pioneers for breaking the stigma on mental illness and borderline personality disorder," he said. "It's one of the most devastating disorders out there but it's the most treatable."
General manager Phil Emery and coach Lovie Smith said Thursday the organization had done its due diligence regarding the wide receiver, and Emery insisted ownership was "very supportive" of the trade.
"I know him. I know him as a person. I know him off the field," Cutler said. "I know what kind of guy he is and what he brings to the table, not only on the field but as a person in the locker room, as a citizen of the community. He's a special guy."
Cutler was out of the country while the deal was coming together and heard about it while he was sitting in an airplane with fiancée and reality TV star Kristen Cavallari after they returned.
"Kristen was bragging how many emails she had and I looked at my phone and I had like a hundred and I was like 'What's going on?'" he said. "It was exciting. It's the best news I've had in a while."
Marshall made the Pro Bowl for the third time last year with 81 catches for 1,214 yards and six scores. He surpassed 100 receptions and 1,250 yards in each of his two seasons in Denver when Cutler was the primary starter.
"He is a mismatch receiver. He creates problems for corners," Emery said. "The average corner in the league is right around 5-11. There's a lot of them shorter than that. He creates a problem for them from the get-go. ... So we feel like the mismatch opportunities that he brings along with the skills added greatly to our roster."
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap