Rather than being recognized as one of the NFL's best wide receivers, Marshall must deal with the consequences of his dubious off-the-field behavior.
A classic example is the fact that he ranks 61st on NFL Network's "The Top 100" list, as voted by the players.
Which receiver was robbed in 'Top 100'?
!(http://top100.nfl.com/)Five of the first 40 players on "The Top 100" list have been receivers. Check out each players' 2010 statistics, vote for which had the best season, then check back Tuesday for the winner. **More ...**
Marshall easily should be higher on the list. Much higher. In fact, it would be fair to say that he belongs in the top 20.
That's what Marshall's talent says. That's what his 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons say.
But his repeated problems off the field say something else. To the voters, they clearly say he has a character flaw that overshadows the fact he is one of the more dominant receivers in the game.
Any conversation about Marshall should begin and end with his ability to take over a game at any time. Instead, it includes the fact that he has been arrested on multiple occasions.
The most recent was two years ago, when he was arrested in Atlanta on a disorderly conduct charge after his alleged involvement in a fight with his then-fiancee. A day later, the charges were dropped. But last month, Marshall was involved in another altercation with his now-wife and wound up being stabbed near his stomach. He spent two days in the hospital, but he's expected to fully recover.
Marshall's penchant for getting into trouble raises questions about whether or not he can be trusted to be available to play in every game.
When players judge other players, they take into account plenty of factors. Skill is at the top of the list, along with how they have fared against them in individual encounters. However, another factor is whether they could count on that player as a teammate. It's fair to conclude that probably worked against Marshall to some degree in "The Top 100" voting to the tune of about 40-plus spots.
That shouldn't be overly comforting to the Miami Dolphins, who gave up a second-round draft pick in 2010 and a second-rounder in 2011 to acquire him from the Denver Broncos last year, then gave him a four-year, $47.5 million contract extension that included $24 million guaranteed.
It's one thing to demonstrate that you're an elite receiver, and Marshall has done that. But it's another to prove that you can be trusted.