The downside of Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall's off-the-field transgressions have been well documented. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US Presswire

While we were busy welcoming Brandon Marshall to the AFC East and factoring him into various storylines, AFC West foreman Bill Williamson explained why the Denver Broncos rid themselves of a sublime receiver.

Williamson recounted a discussion he had with a Broncos assistant three months after Marshall was drafted in 2006.

"The kid is brilliant. He's just brilliant. But I can't tell him that," the coach told Williamson. "We have to keep this kid grounded."

That trick proved impossible to execute. Marshall probably figured out how good he was during his first 100-reception season. He has put together three in a row.

Williamson wrote:

In an ideal world, Marshall would have played 12 seasons in Denver and gone into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- he has that type of talent -- playing for just one team. But that was never going to happen. He was too volatile and too unhappy in Denver.

Still in the euphoria of such a mammoth trade, it will be difficult for Miami Dolphins fans to consider the risks that come along with Marshall.

In doing research, I came across an "Outside the Lines" segment from May 2009 that examined Marshall's troubling history of off-field problems. "Outside the Lines" reported at the time Marshall had been involved in seven cases of alleged domestic violence over two years in three states and Puerto Rico.

The full "Outside the Lines" report featured 911 tapes, arrest reports and mug shots.

In another video segment, Marshall denied the domestic violence allegations during a satellite interview with "Outside the Lines" host Bob Ley.

An ESPN.com article provided a timeline of Marshall's various transgressions, which dated to October 2004, his junior year at Central Florida. Charges include assaulting an off-duty police officer and DUI. He was involved in the altercation that occurred before Broncos teammate Darrent Williams was shot to death.

Marshall had another great campaign after the "Outside the Lines" report aired. He caught 101 passes for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns. But rookie head coach Josh McDaniels benched him for the season finale because he was playing up a minor injury.

Marshall, like New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, is a scintillating performer with a track record he'll carry with him until he retires.

One more misstep for either player could elicit substantial punishment from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Marshall very well could prove he's worth every penny the Dolphins gave him Wednesday. They signed him to a four-year, $47.5 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid receiver in NFL history. He may punch his ticket to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with what he accomplishes in aqua and orange.

But it's not difficult to see why the Broncos weren't interested in keeping him around any longer.