Exploring every possible opportunity to improve your roster amounts to due diligence for new management striving to rebuild a struggling NFL franchise.
But trying to do it with the likes of Brandon Marshall would be inviting headaches, risks and potential public-relations nightmares in exchange for questionable gains.
Aside from being a distracting malcontent with the Denver Broncos, Marshall’s history of arrests includes disorderly conduct, drunken driving, and, most alarmingly, a number of incidents of alleged domestic violence … with two different women.
I don’t care how talented this guy is, or how badly the Seahawks need a receiver, or how many of the charges against him have been dropped, this much involvement with domestic-violence charges should be an absolute non-negotiable deal-breaker from the start.
Seahawks: You looked him over, now let him be somebody else’s problem.
The Seahawks have not made an offer for the restricted free agent, but they did invite him up for a visit last weekend. At the least, it means they’re considering surrendering the first-round draft pick it would take to get him from the Broncos – a team that has grown weary of his antics.
Deposed Seahawks president Tim Ruskell placed primacy on character when acquiring players. As the team slipped to nine wins in the past two seasons, it was easy to criticize Ruskell for going too far in search of Eagle Scouts.
With coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider now in charge, it’s obvious Ruskell’s character mandate is no longer the first criterion when shopping for talent.
The notion these are the “new” Seahawks was reinforced Monday with reports that long-time back-up quarterback Seneca Wallace had been traded to Cleveland, to be reunited with his old coach, Mike Holmgren, who now runs the Browns franchise.
While Marshall is a player with three consecutive 100-catch seasons, he also has been suspended by both the NFL and the Broncos for his behavior.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” program did a detailed report on Marshall’s issues with a long-time girlfriend, digging up police reports of seven cases of alleged domestic violence. Some involved dueling reports, and in most cases charges weren’t pressed.
Almost all are disputed, and nobody can be certain what went on behind closed doors, but there are frightening 911 tapes that appear to tell of violent episodes involving Marshall. Search YouTube for the full accounts.
He was arrested in 2007 and charged with false imprisonment and domestic violence, charges which were dropped after he completed an anger-management class.
Just a bad relationship with one woman?
Last March he and another woman, his fiancée, were arrested after a public fight in which several witnesses, including an off-duty policeman, reported seeing them “kicking and punching each other.” The case was dismissed. But that doesn’t look like managed anger.
He also was on hand for the New Year’s Day 2007 altercation that led to the fatal shooting of teammate Darrent Williams.
Some fans will be more interested in his ability to catch the ball and help the team win games. I’m not convinced of that, either.
As Marshall pulled in 307 catches the past three seasons, Denver went 23-25 and never made the playoffs.
You also might find some enlightening video on-line showing Marshall’s disruptive behavior during Broncos’ practice, where his pouting and petulance had to divert the focus of everybody on the field. This is not a guy who is going to put the needs of the team anywhere near the top of his own agenda.
There are several connections between Marshall and the new Seahawks staff. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and quarterback coach Jedd Fisch previously were on the Denver staff. They must see value in at least taking a look at Marshall.
Carroll, though, will be the man making the decision on Marshall. As I researched a recent feature story on Carroll, I was impressed by his genuine efforts to help those who work to rehabilitate criminal offenders.
This is a coach for whom second-chances and human redemption are not just talk. This might make Carroll the coach in the league best suited to face the challenges Marshall presents.
But Marshall has had a number of chances already. He’s not worth the risk.
The Seahawks did not make him an offer before he left. Good. Here’s hoping he doesn’t come back.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440