There is so much rumor swirling around the news wires these days it’s almost impossible to keep up. Who is saying what and why and more importantly about whom. Players sticking up for Richie Incognito others sticking up for Jonathan Martin. It’s enough to make your head swim and the NFL investigation hasn’t even begun yet.
What do we know for certain?
1: Richie Incognito will not return to the Miami Dolphins. Forget about the rally of support for him in the locker room. He may have been able to come back say three days ago with a whirlwind of support from his teammates. Up until word linked out about his sexual assault on a “hole-girl” at the Miami Dolphins annual golf tournament. The details of what Incognito did are pretty well known now. He did a little butt rub dancing and used his golf club to apparently touch parts of the women. So why does this become the icing on the cake? Because she apparently was paid off. By whom we don’t know but she refused to discuss the incident stating she had signed a confidentiality agreement.
Let’s also not forget that Incognito was involved in a night club incident prior to training camp. In other words, he may be a great guy to have in the locker room for everyone not named Martin but the Dolphins can no longer justify keeping him around.
2: Jonathan Martin’s days with the Miami Dolphins is all but over as well. Martin broke what many considered a cardinal rule in breaking the story to the media and not handling it “in-house”. Regardless of whether he felt he could or not teammates will not be quick to forget. Martin’s camp is stating that more than just Incognito were a problem and if true, the Dolphins will likely be purging more of their roster and in the process angering other players. Martin is viewed, for right or wrong, as a weak person and that was before all of this started. His popularity in-house is non-existent right now. Martin will likely sue both the Miami Dolphins and Richie Incognito and Martin looks to take a pretty big payday. You don’t bring that type of player back.
The Dolphins could opt to keep around until March and then try to move him but his value is next to nil right now and any team that might have interest in him will know they won’t have much to compete with. Martin is now damaged goods. He is in a hospital getting treatment and suing and NFL team…possibly. Teams tend to stay away from that.
3: The media is unrelenting. And bad. Everyone is so quick to try and get the latest “breaking…he said, he said’ report that they are no longer riding the “more than two sources” rules. Instead, many in the media are taking what they hear from somewhere else and twisting it around. It’s an ugly part of the journalistic world and stuff like this makes it even worse.
4: Martin walked away from the team after a lunch room incident that he himself had participated in before.
5: We know that several teams have said that Martin arrived in Miami as quiet and standoffish while the Martin camp is painting a picture of a guy trying to fit in and ignored and mistreated.
6: We know that Martin’s parents are attorneys and we know Martin now has legal council.
What don’t we know?
1: We don’t know for sure if any of the coaches or the GM heard about the alleged harassment. If a coach or coaches did know we don’t know how high that knowledge went.
2: We don’t know who else is involved and we don’t know when we will find out. According to Martin’s camp another player made disparaging remarks regarding Martin’s sister. We don’t know who said, when they said, why they said it, or even the context of the setting if and when it was actually said.
3: Martin’s camp has been slow out of the gate but now seem to be ready to make their case in the court of public opinion. Through a released statement by Martin’s attorney we learn that there is a lot more evidence of mistreatment.
4: Motivation. If any exists at all. Why did Martin wait until a lunch room incident to leave the team? Why are players calling Incognito and Martin close friends up until two weeks ago?
What are we saying about it?
1: Nothing. All PhinPhanatic.com staff have been instructed to keep, for now, their opinions in check until we actually have concrete knowledge of what exactly transpired in Miami. No, I am not stifling their creative minds or their right to venture an opinion on one of the hottest topics ever in the NFL. Simply imploring our staff to hold final judgement until we know more about what happened. Whether they or I support Incognito or Martin doesn’t matter because daily something changes the public opinion.
2: Facts. Moving forward we will present the facts and any side stories related as news. You can formulate your own opinions from that.