Zero is the number that represents the chance of Richie Incognito returning to the Miami Dolphins. That was a certainty four months ago when Jonathan Martin walked out on the team and finger pointed to Incognito. The story has been a popular whipping post in the media and fans have grown tired of the drama hoping that both just shut up and go away. That’s easy for us to say, we are not the ones on public trial.
Yesterday’s Twitter tirade by Incognito only goes to show the strain that the situation has caused him. At one point during all of this it appeared that Incognito would never play football again. While that is no longer the case, Stephen Ross let slip that he would not be back in Miami. There really was never a question of that and considering the way the Dolphins immediately handled the situation, there never was going to be a question of it.
It’s the way this was handled internally that Richie should at the very least have some hard feeling towards the Dolphins. Specifically his head coach Joe Philbin, his line coach Jim Turner, and owner Stephen Ross. The Dolphins actions in suspending Incognito were swift and to a degree justified. The end of October into November was a PR nightmare. While the Dolphins supported the one who quit, the never supported the one who was blamed. Apparently a wrongful blame at that.
The Dolphins were not really in a position to question the incident. Incognito is no choir boy and he had two off-field incidents prior to camp. One of which, a sexual harassment issue, got swept away. At some point however they should have at least listened to what was going on our asked the NFL to expedite the investigation since Incognito was suspended. Incognito got paid for his time away but make no mistake he wanted to play.
Incognito never wavered in his account of the situation and demanded often that his name be cleared. Recent revelations from some of the text messages appear to support his contentions. The issue here is that while Incognito was being crucified in the eyes of the public, his own teams owner was on Monday Night Football talking about visiting Martin and denied that he would meet with Richie. In fact during this whole process there has been no rumor or record that says Ross has spoken with his lineman. Or Philbin for that matter.
With so much riding on the Ted Wells investigation, I have to assume which is not a good thing, that in the end, Richie is going to come out of this not looking as rosy as he thinks he will. There will be a fine line laid out to the public that will put some blame in some way on both sides. There is too much riding on this finding in terms of legal consequences. An outright finding in support of Martin will be the go ahead for a big litigation suit while an outright support of Incognito will do the same thing.
Reality as they say is most of what makes perception so you can expect the report to play it very safe in what is said and reality says what we want to hear will not be what we actually hear. What Richie needs to hear when all this is said and done is “I’m sorry” from the owner or at the very least the coach who didn’t bother to get his side of the story. Even in the face of the other teammates coming to Richie’s defense no one on the team looked at this is a possible Jonathan Martin problem. It’s always been a Richie Incognito problem.