Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71), guard Richie Incognito (68), and center Mike Pouncey (51) prepare to block for quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) as Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) looks on in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Ted Wells Report for Dummies


You may or may not have heard that the Ted Wells report dropped last week.  I know it slipped under the radar, and no one is talking about it.  If you didn’t know, there was a very minor situation between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito this past season.

Still with me?  Ok, good.  I figured I would start out my take on the Ted Wells report in ridiculous fashion, as most of the hype and media coverage relating to this eagerly awaited document is overblown and knee jerk reaction.  Things people are writing trying to make the report actually mean something.  After five months of thorough investigation, travel, interviews and media frenzy the report is here.  Ted Wells consulted with experts and researched mental health topics.  He spoke with all parties involved multiple times, and produced a weighty and lengthy 144 page report detailing his findings.

After reading the majority of the report, looking over most of the topics contained within it, walking away in disgust a few times, I’ve come to a conclusion.  Ted Wells could’ve made it easier on all parties involved and spun this in the proper direction, regardless of the popularity.  He could’ve simplified this report dramatically, without exposing things that look extremely bad in some cases unnecessarily.  This report could have been one sentence and still told us as much in relation to this issue as the report really told us.  Below is a simplified, cliff notes version of the report for those who have or have not read it:

REPORT TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CONCERNING

ISSUES OF WORKPLACE CONDUCT AT THE MIAMI DOLPHINS

By: PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON LLP

Theodore V. Wells, Brad S. Karp, Bruce Birenboim, David W. Brown

(as summarized and “fixed” by Paul L. Picken, Jr.)

Date: February 18, 2014

 

Table of Contents

Introduction, Background, Executive Summary……………………………………………………………..p 3

Recommendations……………………………………………………p 4

Introduction, Executive Summary, Background & Conclusions:

Jonathan Martin is a professional football player for the Dolphins who left the team amidst mental health issues and alleging bullying claims from several players on the Dolphins including Richie Incognito.  Richie and Jon were friends.  Jon has confessed to mental health issues dating as far back as middle school.  Richie and others behavior, at times, would be considered reprehensible outside of their circle of friends.  At times Richie has demonstrated the lack of an ability to know where the line is.  As Jonathan not only did not go to coaches, support staff and discontinued “therapy” because it was too long of a drive, nor appears to have given any indication to anyone aside from his parents that he needed help, it is difficult to gauge exactly what occurred.  While we could prepare a lengthy report unnecessarily, it would serve no purpose as anything contained in a lengthy report would be simply speculation and out of context.

Throughout the investigation we did uncover other aspects that amount to nothing more than hearsay, and thus are not including them in this report.

Recommendations:

Jonathan Martin:

We feel Jonathan Martin would be best served by seeking a full psychiatric mock up that he must agree to and complete, as well as any recommended treatment recommended by a league appointed therapist.  We believe it would be a good faith gesture for the league to cover this treatment plan and make it a requirement that Jonathan complete this program, while being paid a league minimum salary, prior to a consideration for a return to the NFL.  Any consideration for return to the NFL requires sign off from the therapists in his program, and he be required to participate fully in this to return to a status of eligibility to return to the league.

While we would like Jonathan Martin to return to the NFL, we fear that the everyday challenges of daily NFL life put Jonathan at a significant risk due to what we have ascertained in regards to his admittance in regards to his mental health, as well as evidence provided by all parties in this matter.

This is in no way meant as a punishment to Jonathan, but as a measure of concern for him, as well as to protect both his interests, those of the Miami Dolphins and of the NFL in general.  Several items were raised as a concern that he may be a danger to himself or others, and while we are not qualified in the field of psychiatry we would recommend that licensed professionals be the ones to make the call in regards to his mental health.

Richie Incognito:

Richie has proven to be an asshole on occasion, but was suspended for his role in things.  We would recommend that Richie undergo psychiatric assistance as well, but this is in no way mandatory.  There are positives and negatives to Richie that, quite frankly, are at the discretion of the club to determine if they so choose to pursue.

Other Recommendations:

This situation brings to light the greater need for psychiatric care at the NFL level, as well as additional means that a player can reach out to discretely to discuss mental health issues that may arise.  We believe a committee should be formed based on the awareness this has raised, and that this committee be responsible for implementing an effective program that players can turn to.

That is pretty much it.  Anything else in the report is speculation, hearsay or heavily influenced by personal feelings or speculation from third parties.  Contradictions to this report have already been raised by players mentioned specifically in the report.  It’s ridiculous and a lot of pages were taken up unnecessarily.

Leave your own thoughts in the comments below.  Feel free to add your own interpretation as well.

 

Tags: Featured Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins Popular Richie Incognito Ted Wells Report

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Hey Paul! When I saw the link on Twitter as posted by Brian, the title of your article alone made it too hard for me to resist, even when it meant I dropped everything else I was doing. The rest of the article did not disappoint either and enjoyed the read, even though I have sworn to be done with the latest saga to have swept through the Miami Dolphins. “Just when I thought I was done, they keep dragging me back in” or words to that effect as scripted in the “Godfather III”.
    I can’t disagree with anything in your editorial, as I believe all along, Martin felt a sense of entitlement and failed to convey his intense discomfort at anytime with his “tormentors’” over-the-top and highly inappropriate sense of good fun. What gets me is that while I maybe able to understand Martin’s possible anxiety not letting him process a proper course of action, his very educated parents also failed to advise him to assert himself and to simply convey what was eating him, even during the however few times when Incognito actually did reach out to him. I’ll cite a couple of examples:
    1- When engaged in a push and shove during work outs, with a player from the defense, and RI came to his help, why did he not say? “Thanks, but I can handle my own fights, so back off”
    2- When he confided in RI about suicidal thoughts, and RI seemed to reach out to him, why did he (Martin) not express it was all the “you’re my bitch” remarks along with others referring to his mother and sister? Rookie or not, those are immediate fighting words in my humble.
    3- Taking a page of my own history, having been bully’ed as a child because I sucked at baseball, he could’ve stocked them one by one and without the need to have to be threatening, express that those “jokes” about his mom and sister needed to stop now or he would be ready to take it to the next level, meaning violence and snitching if need be, in order to stop it. (No one ever made a comment about my mom or sister during my baseball days and when I did approach one of my teammates it was just to ask him to meet me after practice, so that spend some “quality time” together…. I kicked his rear end) Now I love football and hate baseball.

  • Richard

    I thought this was a fascinating insight into political correctness entering the locker room. At the end though, unfortunately, it was much ado about nothing.

    It will be interesting the fallout from all of this. One thing I heard: When the trainer objected to the treatment Incognito backed off and apologized.

    So what does the pro football world do with Jon Martin?

  • DevilInPgh

    I guess I’ll be deleting “On The Fin Side” every time it comes up in my FinsRadio feed. How can two groups of people (Dolphin fans and everyone else) come to very different conclusions from the same piece of paper? That’s why I’m ashamed to be a Dolfan right now, because they’re the only people placing 100% (or even 75%) of the blame on him. Not Deadspin, not Bleacher Report, not ESPN, not even Armando, Omar, or Le Batard, just you.

    Of course, not surprisingly, I see a big overlap between Martin haters and Ireland lovers. I guess that goes with the “I just love sons of bitches to be running my team, even when they’re running it into the ground” mode.

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      I am not involved with “On the Fins Side” although I do listen to it when I’m around, because although I find myself often disagreeing with some of their opinions, I do like those whom I’ve met, and will even agree from time to time on some points. I am also not necessarily “against” Martin, as I understand first hand the challenges of emotional issues. I just feel (after reading the entire report) Martin’s father could’ve offered better advice. My feelings on what Martin should’ve done or been advised to do, have nothing to do however with my awareness that boundaries were crossed.

      I am NOT an Ireland lover and I was relieved when he came to terms with the fact Ross has lost trust in him. I do not blame Ireland for his participation on “Bullygate” however, I do hold him responsible for advertising character as a prerequisite to make the team and then contradicting himself and signing people like Marshall and “Ocho-Cinco” who may be good people but come with some baggage and are hardly controversy-free. I felt I needed to clearify my position because my comment only focuses on what I think Martin should’ve been advised to do.