MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin met with independent investigator Ted Wells Friday to discuss what the player believes was harassment at the hands of teammates, including suspended guard Richie Incognito.Martin made sure to comment on the investigation.
Martin met with Wells, who the NFL selected to investigate the case, in the lawyer’s offices in New York City, according to published reports. Martin left the team more than a week ago after a prank in the team’s lunchroom.
The two spent the better part of 8 hours meeting with Wells and had a few words to say after the meeting.
“Today’s meeting is consistent with my commitment to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into my experience as a player on the Miami Dolphins.Although, I went into great details with Ted and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time. I do; however, look forward to speaking directly with Stephen Ross, Tom Garfinkel, and the Dolphins organization at the appropriate time,” said Martin to WCBS. ” This is the right way to handle the matter. Beyond that I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League.”
The Dolphins continue to pay Martin and keep him on the active roster, though reports have come out that Martin doesn’t feel like he could play for the Dolphins again. Martin was a starter at left tackle this season before being demoted after the team acquired veteran Bryant McKinnie.
The demotion moved Martin back to right tackle, where he played much of last season. Typically, left tackles are paid much, much more than right tackles and the left side is considered the more “glamour” position for tackles.
Martin has claimed that he was repeatedly subjected to harassment at the hands of teammates since he joined the squad as a second-round draft pick before last season. The contents of voicemails and text messages that allegedly contain harassment from players, including Incognito, have been turned over to the Dolphins and the NFL.
The transcript of one message included Incognito using a racial slur and other expletives when talking to Martin’s voicemail.
The Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely once the transcript of the voicemail was made public. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Fins can only keep Incognito suspended for conduct detrimental to the team for four games.
That means the Dolphins would have to make a decision on the starting left guard by the first week of December. But Incognito may not have to wait that long.
He filed a grievance over his suspension on Thursday and requested an expedited hearing, which again under the CBA, would force the hearing to take place in seven days. The hearing will be conducted by an independent arbitrator.
CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald has reported previously that a source said Incognito would never play another down for the Dolphins. If the team loses the grievance hearing, Incognito will either have to be reinstated or released, unless the NFL chose to suspend him under the Personal Conduct Policy, which at this point appears unlikely.
If Incognito is ultimately released, he would enter the waivers process. If a team claimed him during waivers, that team would pick up a percentage of his salary for this season. If he makes it through waivers without a team claiming him, he becomes an unrestricted free agent, but will still be owed much of his salary by the Dolphins.
He could then sign with another team, and double-dip by getting paid by the Dolphins and his new team.