Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins helmet with the new logo at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin O'Neill Could File Suit Against Dolphins


The first person to lose his job after the Ted Wells report was 18 year employee and head trainer Kevin O’Neill.  Followed shortly thereafter by Oline coach Jim Turner.  It was probably the right thing and the smart thing.  Two problems however exist.  One, the latest rumor is that O’Neill’s firing was a result of NFL pressure and two, O’Neill may be prepping for a wrongful termination suit.

If the rumors are of course correct.

Assuming they are and frankly there is little reason to believe they are not, O’Neill may be the first of two lawsuits filed against the team in connection with Jonathan Martin’ leaving.

According to reports from the Sun Sentinel, O’Neill was notified of his firing while in Indianapolis with HC Joe Philbin and new GM Dennis Hickey.  He received the news however by Dawn Aponte who was in the room with Philbin and Hickey.

As the report goes from the Dave Hyde at the Sun-Sentinel, Aponte asked if O’Neill had any questions to which he replied, “Talk to my lawyer”.  The implied act of that remark is that he feel as though his termination was wrong.  O’Neill is contending that he spoke with the assistant trainer and then spoke with Incognito about incidents shortly after they happened and that Incog made an apology to the trainer.  O’Neill also apparently doesn’t like the fact his name was brought up in the report saying he was uncooperative.

It’s also very likely that Jonathan Martin himself at some point will file a lawsuit of his own against the team.

This simply is a case that will not go away anytime soon.  It also speaks if not in volumes but at least in chapters to the structure of the Dolphins management system.  Aponte apparently has too much control or the others have little desire to be the guy who has to make the fire.  Either way it doesn’t look good.

What does look good is that Hickey will have well over 30 million dollars to spend in next months free agency to convince free agents that Miami is a team they want to pay for.


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Tags: Dawn Aponte Kevin O'Neill Miami Dolphins

  • Darthjaye

    Martin is simply screwed if he does try and sue. He in no way followed the proper chain of command and left while under contract. He tries and he gets counter sued for breach and not only will he lose but he will be forced to pay back what he took during his self imposed leave, He made no effort to resolve his issues within the confines of the team or rules laid out as per the terms of his contract. He should take the money and simply disappear from the Fins roster,

    • 1sb1

      Thanks for this explanation.
      I so hope you are right.
      Yes, lets hope so… (that Martin gets NOTHING for his actions.)
      I’ve been saying all along, that in my eyes, by walking off the team, he is breaching his contract.
      Not only should he have not continued to be babied and paid after quitting, but the Dolphins should get any money they paid him after he walked off the team returned to them.
      He’s been treated with kid gloves long enough, and all this while he plans to retire on a massive planned and premeditated workplace harassment suit.
      If he really wanted it to stop, he would have complained to the higher-ups, alerted his superiors, and followed the proper chain of command for such a “situation.”
      I think he wanted it to continue–and to document it–to bolster his future case.
      Not to mention that his mommy –I believe–is an attorney that specialized in workplace harassment lawsuits.
      Gee, what a coincidence.

  • Rolle Diaz

    They better not spend the $30 mill, they are going to need to legally clean this mess up….

  • gofins60

    Aponte is a numbers cruncher… how can she have the power to fire someone that is not her subordinate? I know that Ross made her a VP of something, but she can’t be in charge of the actual team staff, right? Ross should have cleaned house when Sparano was fired, but he kept Ireland. He had a second chance to start over when he “fired” Ireland, but he kept Philbin and everyone else. Why does Ross keep taking half-measures when a clean sweep is needed?

    • 1sb1

      It’s starting to look that the “house cleaning”–that I am all for and is needed–may need to include Ross himself, or this franchise is just further doomed. Half measures avail nothing.
      Just like in Dallas–with Jerry Jones–$h!t flows downhill from the top.
      If you need surgery–they usually try to cut out ALL the cancer, not just some of it.

  • DragonFly34

    Well Dawnho-joe is at it again, Ross, Philbin have no balls to fire someone, and I do hope O’Neill hands Ross his ass.