According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, league appointed investigator Ted Wells has cancelled further interviews with Richie Incognito and eleven other Miami Dolphins players. Specifically, Darlington referred to Wells as “canceling the scheduled interviews “after” having a second session with Jonathan Martin”.
The outcome of the investigation will not likely be known until after the new year and the timing “could” point in two directions. One, Wells has all he needs after speaking with Martin a second time or two, the interviews will take place after the holidays.
What Wells has uncovered is not known and we are basically left to guess at what the outcome may be. Martin is currently on the non-football injury list and will not return this season and many believe that his time in Miami is over. Likely to be traded or cut in March when the league new year starts. Not as clear cut is the future of Richie Incognito.
Incognito is on voluntary suspension for another week and it’s possible the Dolphins could retain the lineman. The question is do they want him. The offensive line production has actually improved with the absence of both Martin and Incognito. It’s possible that if the Dolphins are in the mix for the final playoff spot that Incognito could be retained for the playoff run. While it’s unlikely he would immediately step back on the field, he would be a valuable back-up heading into January.
Aside from the Martin issues, Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland must decide if the publicity surrounding other off-field issues is escapable. Incognito’s sexual assault incident doesn’t sit well with Miami fans and the Dolphins may opt to forego bringing Incognito back at a critical time that could put unwanted attention on the team. Regardless of their decision it will be debated and put yet another cloud regardless of size over the locker room. Without question the media will focus on the opposite angle of Ireland’s decision.
For now, we can at least take some comfort in knowing that the Dolphins will only need to prepare for New England this week and not another round of questioning.