Dolphins and the future of Incognito & Martin!

In Miami, Dolphins players defended Richie Incognito, the teammate
whose allegedly abusive conduct toward Jonathan Martin triggered an NFL
investigation and ripped open the inner workings of an NFL locker room
in a way that makes “Hard Knocks” look like a mild sit-com.
Those who know Martin spoke up
in support of him on Wednesday as he remains with his family in
California and is working up a statement. Dolphins players, available to
the media for the first time since the story broke, supported the
suspended Incognito on Wednesday. “I think if you had asked Jon Martin a
week before who his best friend on the team was, he would have said
Richie Incognito,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “The first guy to
stand up for Jonathan when anything went down on the field, any kind of
tussle, Richie was the first guy there. When we would hang out off the
field, outside football, who was together? Richie and Jon. I’m not in
those guys’ shoes, I can’t explain what’s going on.”
On Wednesday, the Sun Sentinel reported that coaches had told
Incognito to “toughen up” Martin, who starred at Stanford with Andrew
Luck, David DeCastro and Coby Fleener. It was believed that Incognito
took that directive too far, becoming verbally abusive and using
racially slurs in voice mails and text messages.
Tyson Clabo said Incognito and Martin were “thick as thieves.” “I’ve
been here long enough to know that if Martin had a problem, he didn’t
show it,” he said (via the Miami Herald). “… I think that if you have a problem with somebody … [you should] stand up and be a man.”
Incognito was suspended Sunday night by team management, whose conduct came under further scrutiny Wednesday when Pro Football Talk reported
that, when Martin’s agent complained about Incognito’s treatment of his
client, he was told by General Manager Jeff Ireland that Martin should
“punch” Incognito. The Dolphins are not commenting on that and the NFL
appointed Ted Wells, a New York-based criminal lawyer, to determine who
did and said what and when. Maybe he should start with the old line from
the New York Giants’ legendary George Young: “We arere not in the
business of well-adjusted human beings.”
Meanwhile, the layers keep being peeled back. Lydon Murtha, an
offensive lineman who was with the Dolphins from 2009 until the 2012
preseason (when Martin was a rookie), wrote on Peter King’s MMQB today that the code is broken and it’s impossible to know just yet where Incognito, Martin and the Dolphins go from here.

Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down
on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about
any so-called hazing. That’s the most outlandish lie of this whole
thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who’s getting
picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any
type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a
dozen teams, and it’s the same everywhere. What people want to call
bullying is something that is never going away from football. This is a
game of high testosterone, with men hammering their bodies on a daily
basis. You are taught to be an aggressive person, and you typically do
not make it to the NFL if you are a passive person. There are a few, but
it’s very hard. Playing football is a man’s job, and if there’s any
weak link, it gets weeded out. It’s the leaders’ job on the team to take
care of it.

The most unfortunate thing about this situation is the consequence it
will have on the careers of both men. Richie’s marked himself now as a
racist and a bigot, and unfortunately that could be the end of it.
Martin is on the opposite end of the spectrum, but no more likely than
Incognito to return to the NFL if he wants. In going to the media with
his problem, Martin broke the code, and it shows that he’s not there for
his teammates and he’s not standing up for himself. There might be a
team that gives him a chance because he’s a good person, but the players
will reject him. They’ll think, If I say one thing he’s going to the
press. He’ll never earn the respect of teammates and personnel in the
NFL because he didn’t take care of business the right way.

What fans should understand is that every day in the NFL there are
battles between players worse than what’s being portrayed. This racial
slur would be a blip on the radar if everything that happens in the
locker room went public. But all over the league, problems are hashed
out in house. Either you talk about it or you get physical. But at the
end of the day, you handle it indoors.

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