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Todd Bowles could have his hands full with Brandon Marshall

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall signals touchdown

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall signals touchdown after catching a touchdown pass during the final minute of the first half against the Cleveland Browns. (Dec. 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

Brandon Marshall -- and his baggage -- will soon be Todd Bowles' responsibility.

There's a gamble with every roster move made in and around free agency. But the Jets' decision to trade a fifth-round pick to the Bears in exchange for Marshall potentially comes with even greater risks.

His football skills are undeniable. His passion for the game is unquestioned. But Marshall has been labeled everything from a malcontent to a headcase. And if you're inclined to believe everything you read, his antics make Santonio Holmes look tame in comparison.

Marshall's act and his outspokenness wore thin after three seasons in Chicago, paving the way for his highly-anticipated departure. And, like with Percy Harvin -- another veteran receiver the Jets traded for in order to boost their offense -- Bowles and his staff will have to make sure the 6-4, 230-pound Marshall doesn't become a divisive force in the locker room.

More importantly, they have to ensure his checkered past is a thing of the past.

His run-ins with the law date back almost a decade. In 2009, he was arrested after being involved in a fight with his then-fiancee, and now wife, Michi. Two years later, Michi stabbed him in the stomach during a domestic-violence incident, according to police. Shortly thereafter, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

His criticisms of his teammates also helped create a wedge between him and management.

The former Bears wideout was overheard shouting his frustrations at teammates last season, including kicker Robbie Gould, following their Week 7 home-loss to the Dolphins. And when he addressed reporters in his postgame press conference, Marshall made it clear that their offense's production and their 3-4 record were "unacceptable."

The receiver also didn't mince words when it came to his former quarterback Jay Cutler.

Though he credited Cutler as "more than capable of getting it done" during a December radio appearance, Marshall conceded that no one could fault the Bears front office for regretting the quarterback's seven-year, $126 million deal.

"As a business man, I would have buyer's remorse too," Marshall said at the time.

According to reports out of Chicago, the relationship between the two became strained as the season wore on.

Now, just imagine what Marshall might be tempted to say about Geno Smith, the Jets' young incumbent.

While he shouldn't be considered a me-first player, Marshall demands plenty of catches on gameday. Last season, Smith averaged 26 pass attempts per game -- Cutler, on the the other hand, attempted 37.

Marshall also expects his quarterback to be able to deliver the football. Smith, however, has had accuracy issues over the past two seasons. He's 11-18 as a starter with a 57.5 completion percentage, 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. His propensity for turnovers cost the Jets a lot of games, and even his former QB coach David Lee admitted as much shortly after joining the Bills' staff.

So if the new Jets regime entrusts Smith with the starting job, they'll need to be certain that he'll be much-improved in 2015.

Marshall, who's guaranteed a $7.5 million base salary this season, is expected to jumpstart their stagnant offense, which finished dead-last in passing yards per game (184.1). He has gained more than 1,000 receiving yards in seven of his nine NFL seasons and ranked second in the league in catches (692) and receiving yards (8,741) from 2007-13.

The Jets will be the fourth team for the Marshall, who has yet to make the playoffs. And if the Jets struggle this season, it'll be interesting to see if Bowles will be able to keep the peace with his high-profile receiver.

Bowles has a reputation for being a players' coach but a no-nonsense guy. Plus, he formed a bond with Marshall during their time together with the Dolphins.

Marshall rehabilitated his image as an out-of-control hothead during his time in Chicago and his advocacy of mental health awareness took center stage.


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