Like almost everyone, when I first read about Brandon Marshall's latest run-in all I could think was, "Oh well, here we go again." And, like most of the media and members of MHR I assumed that he would probably get suspended. However, after looking into this matter in greater depth I think there is a good chance he doesn't.
Let me emphasize that, in no way am I saying whether Marshall should or should not get suspended, simply whether I think he will. Here are the reasons I think he will not:
1. A judge dismissed the case. Often in these cases of celebrity run-ins we read that the charges were dropped. But that's not what happened in this case; the case was dismissed. I asked an attorney friend about this one and she explained that there is a huge difference between the two. Often a DA will drop the charges because they don't believe it's worth their time, or they cut some deal with the celebrity. But in this case a judge reviewed the evidence and determined that there was no offense. Either the police officer's account was not credible or, even if true, did not constitute the offense Marshall was charged with. Marshall's attorney said as much. Roger Goodell will have a hard time overruling a judge.
2. What Marshal was charged with, disturbing the peace, is a petty misdemeanor on the order of a traffic ticket. If the Commisioner starts punishing for misdemeanors he is going to have a very hard time drawing the line anywhere.
3. Bigger fish to fry - with the Burress and Lynch issues, Goodell is going to have a hard time suspending Marshall unless he outright bans those two. It's hard to equate gun charges with a shouting match with the fiance.
4. Star Caps - the Commissioner has historically been able to act as judge, jury and executioner because the league has always acted as if his disciplinary actions were beyond judicial review. However, last December a Minnesota judge handed down an injunction against the suspension of several players in the Star Caps incident. The injuction was upheld in federal court. The players may, or may not, win. But Pandora's box has been opened; the courts are willing and able to review NFL disciplinary matters. I doubt if Goodell will want Marshall's case to become a test case for his disciplinary powers.
5. CBA Negotiations - When the owners opted out of the CBA last year, they didn't just opt out of the revenue sharing. They opted out of the whole thing including the Commissioner's disciplinary authority. The players are already not happy about some of Goodell's high handed ways. If he seems to be too arbitrary and capricious, the union may very well make his disciplinary authority a bargaining chip. If it comes down to $$ or his autrhority the owners may very well throw him under the bus. I doubt if he wants to turn this into a bargaining issue.
Again, I'm not saying whether what Marshall did (whatever that actually was) warrants a suspension, but I think he may avoid one anyway.
BTW: It has already cost him his contract extension. News is that the team will make him an RFA next year and see how things go.