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BabyTO
06-23-2009, 01:18 PM
Imagine this: Your best friend, a man who has cried alongside you through each of your gut-wrenching heartbreaks over the past couple of years, is now taking a beating in the court of public opinion far worse than any he has taken on the football field as an NFL receiver.

That's the situation Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Mike Walker is in right now since Brandon Marshall, the Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver, happens to be his best friend. As the football world -- including many in the media -- tears Marshall apart, some of it due to self-inflicted wounds, Walker wants to stand up for his friend.

His message, one he will tell to anyone, is this: Brandon Marshall is not a bad guy.

"For them to bash him the way he's being bashed does hurt," Walker said. "I know him. I know how he is. He isn't a bad guy. He isn't what they are saying he is."

But to hear others talk, especially after events of the past couple of years, the name Brandon Marshall is synonymous with evil.

He's the latest to step forward and fill the role of diva receiver, a supposed malcontent, a look-at-me player who only cares about himself and somehow seems to stay in the headlines -- mostly due to bad off-field behavior.

Marshall has stayed in the legal system since he came to the Broncos three years ago. He has been arrested three times, been accused of hitting his girlfriend and had some other domestic issues. He was also arrested for DUI two years ago.

That led to a league-imposed suspension for one game last season, putting him clearly in the crosshairs of those who judge.

A recent report on ESPN portrayed Marshall as abusing his former girlfriend, even striking her. Marshall denied the report and also relayed to the network that the girlfriend asked for money in exchange for dropping the charges.

Walker knows both well. He said there is no way Marshall hit the woman.

"Never in my life have I seen him put a hand on a woman," Walker said. "I know he didn't do that. I know Brandon wouldn't do that. Brandon has taught me a lot about how to treat ladies, about opening the door and stuff like that. He would never hit a woman."

I asked Walker, in his third season with the Jaguars, if he had a sister. He does. So I asked him if he would let Marshall date his sister.

He didn't hesitate.

"Definitely," he said. "And that's the God honest truth."

Walker and Marshall have known each other since they were seniors in high school. They were roommates for three years at the University of Central Florida and played the same position. A bond developed, one that continues with daily phone calls.

"He's my brother," Walker said. "He's my best friend."

When Walker tore up his knee as a junior at UCF, he broke down on the bench. Tears flowed for both.

"He was crying with me and then went back in and helped us win the game," Walker said. "That's him."

Marshall was there when Walker lost his father to cancer last year. Walker also lost a close friend in a bar shooting a short time before that. Marshall was in attendance when Broncos corner Darrent Williams was killed after an incident at a bar, so they have something else in common -- sadly, losing a friend way too early.

The fact that Marshall was at the bar that night, and he admitted that an altercation involving his cousin had something to do with the shooting, only enhances the thinking that trouble follows him, fair or not.

That's why when Marshall suffered a serious gash to his arm when he fell through a television set while wrestling with his brother, the football world came down hard on him. Some questioned whether it was really an accident, even though Marshall insisted it was.

Walker was there. He swears it was an accident.

"What did he do so wrong?" Walker said. "He was playing around with his brother and slipped and fell. What's so wrong with that?"

Despite the injury, and that one-game suspension, Marshall was once again one of the NFL's best receivers last season, proving he was not just a one-hit wonder in 2007. He has had more than 100 catches each of the past two seasons, hauling in 226 passes in that time.

That's why he wants a new deal and it's why he stayed away from the team's recent minicamp. Marshall has two years left on a deal that is set pay him around $2 million in 2009. For his skill set, and numbers, that's way too low. That's why he has asked to be traded and the Broncos are said to be considering it.

Walker said Marshall's discontent with the team is about money, but also stems from the trade of Jay Cutler as well as the way his hip injury was handled last season.

"They kept saying he was soft and his hip wasn't an issue, but it bothered him in camp and they didn't believe him," Walker said. "They made it seem like it was nothing big. And it bothered him all year and he had to have surgery. So it was something big."

Marshall had surgery on the hip in March, and is back on track to be on the field again this season.

So where will he play? Do the Broncos trade him or do they make him come back? Do they give him a new deal or make him wait?

One thing's for certain: He's a risk. Even Walker understands teams will view his friend that way.

"You have faults, but look at what he brings to that team," Walker said. "If they want to work out a contract, they can work it out. Put stuff in it. Put clauses in it. Put stuff in it that will penalize him if he gets in trouble so you can pay the man. He deserves it. He's a good guy. Whoever pays him will see that. I know it. Brandon Marshall isn't who everybody thinks he is."

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/11884998/rss

I thought the last part especially was interesting. The off the field stuff is not something that should keep us from offering him a contract, because you can put clauses in there and all that. And i'm pretty sure that his buddy wouldn't say that if Marshall wasn't ok with it (that he'd lose money etc if he gets in trouble again).

Rabb
06-23-2009, 01:20 PM
please, make it stop

vancejohnson82
06-23-2009, 01:23 PM
wow, Walker learned how to treat women from Marshall

did Donte Stallworth give him driving lessons?

bronco militia
06-23-2009, 01:25 PM
wow, Walker learned how to treat women from Marshall

did Donte Stallworth give him driving lessons?

LOL LOL LOL

Rabb
06-23-2009, 01:27 PM
and honestly are we going to get a subjective opinion from his BFF?

"They kept saying he was soft and his hip wasn't an issue, but it bothered him in camp and they didn't believe him," Walker said. "They made it seem like it was nothing big. And it bothered him all year and he had to have surgery. So it was something big."

so he got that from Brandon obviously, which doesn't make it fact...makes it opinion of the guy feeling like he needs out

**** my life I just want the season to start and at this point I don't care who is on the roster

broncofan7
06-23-2009, 01:28 PM
The FO holds all of the cards--but Marshall had BETTER show up for TC--if he does that successfully, builds some camraderie with Mcd and his staff--then Bowlen should ante up--but if Marshall just wants to sit on the sidelines and mope--tough luck buddy.

ludo21
06-23-2009, 01:40 PM
Get him signed already!

Incentive laden deal, whatever, we need him to play if we are going to do anything of note next year.

BroncoBuff
06-23-2009, 01:51 PM
Fascinating article ... rep Baby

BroncoBuff
06-23-2009, 01:53 PM
That's why when Marshall suffered a serious gash to his arm when he fell through a television set while wrestling with his brother, the football world came down hard on him. Some questioned whether it was really an accident, even though Marshall insisted it was.

Walker was there. He swears it was an accident.

Wow. What are the odds he was really there ... what are the odds he's covering for Brandon?

ColoradoDarin
06-23-2009, 02:09 PM
Dear Mike Walker,

Please tell Brandon that if he wants to get paid that he needs to STOP HITTING WOMEN. At least go one year with smacking one, please?

Thanks,

Gort
06-23-2009, 03:21 PM
nobody thinks Brandon is a bad person. we just think he makes idiotic decisions. and those decisions come in bunches.