In the rare times when he decides to dedicate himself to football, it’s difficult to stop Brandon Marshall. His combination of speed and length provide him with tools matched by few others around the league.

But far more often he’s passionately dedicated to being an idiot, and less than 24 hours after the Bears acquired the now former Dolphin in a blockbuster trade just prior to free agency, reports have emerged that he slugged a woman at a Manhattan night club in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Tell us more, New York Post:

At around 4 a.m., birthday girl Christin Myles, 24, left an upper floor of the posh hot spot to greet a friend downstairs.

When she tried to get back upstairs, a bouncer told her she had to wait because there was a fight between two football players — Marshall, 27, and an unknown athlete — who were being thrown out, the sources said.

She later met up with her friends, who by then were arguing with Marshall and the other football player outside, sources said.

Marshall — who earned his nickname with his aggressive style of play — then allegedly cold-cocked Myles in the left eye. She suffered a black eye. It wasn’t clear if he allegedly intended to strike her or one of her pals.

Now, before this goes too much further into the usual rant about Marshall’s stupidity, let’s acknowledge his well-documented struggle with a personality disorder. That’s a serious matter, and something that isn’t controlled easily.

That said, there’s no acceptable excuse for hitting a woman, even accidentally. Marshall is aware of his disorder, and how it can make him behave erratically. Yet at 27 years old he’s still putting himself in social situations in which that disorder can flare up, cause problems, and lead to serious trouble.

Marshall’s lawyer predictably relayed a very different version of the events:

“Brandon Marshall was the key note 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. While at the function a fight broke out NOT involving Mr. Marshall or his friends. While attempting to leave to avoid the melee Mrs. Marshall was struck in the face by a thrown bottle. She suffered serious injury. While attempting to leave and take his wife to the hospital, the mayhem continued outside. Finally Mr. Marshall was able to take his wife to the hospital where she was treated for serious injuries. Mr. Marshall is hoping to assist authorities in regards to this matter.”

So you’re left to believe whichever version you’d like. Those in Chicago will believe the legal speak, while Dolphins fans are saying a resounding “I told you so.” One belief should be universal: Marshall has lost the benefit of the doubt, and he did that a long time ago. And yes, both the Bears and Dolphins were well aware of Marshall’s Sunday morning dust up before yesterday’s trade.

Once this free agency madness dies down in a few days we’ll turn our attention to the draft, and you’ll repeatedly hear about players with character issues who are then assigned red flags. Players like Marshall are the reason those flags exist.

And the rest…

  • The Browns haven’t pursued Matt Flynn, and for reasons known only to Mike Holmgren, they’re not going to either. [Mary Kay Cabot]
  • So what the hell is Cleveland going to do at QB then? [Waiting For Next Year]
  • As expected, the Eagles were relatively quiet on the first day of free agency. Philly’s major move involved securing one of their own, as Trent Cole was given a four-year contract extension. [Jeff McLane]
  • The Jaguars retained Jeremy Mincey, signing the defensive end to a four-year contract worth $27.2 million. [Tania Ganguli]
  • A friendly reminder of the value that lies in the third round, and what the Bears potentially gave up to acquire Marshall. [Mike Freeman]
  • The Redskins are actually kind of, sort of making sense with their free agency moves. [Don Banks]
  • The punishment given to the Redskins for their spending during the uncapped year was apparently a “lifetime achievement award for how [Dan Snyder] does business.” [Sally Jenkins]
  • Ted Ginn Jr. will be visiting with the Lions today. [Pride of Detroit]
  • Free agency is wicked fun, but the exhausting pace in the initial hours took its toll on all of us, especially Peter King. [Sportress of Blogitude]