MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Independent investigator Ted Wells released a statement Saturday saying they have concluded their initial round of interviews with Miami Dolphins players and staffers over the harassment alleged by tackle Jonathan Martin.
In the statement he said, “We have concluded our initial round of interviews with the Miami Dolphins and spent time with every player and coach, as well as key staff members and management. Our work will continue over the next few weeks. I want to thank Stephen Ross, the Dolphins organization and its players, coaches and staff for their complete cooperation throughout this process.”
On Thursday, the Miami Dolphins and suspended left guard Richie Incognito were set to appear before an independent arbitrator who will decide the offensive lineman’s immediate fate but the meeting never happened.
The hearing was postponed until independent Wells concludes his investigation of the Dolphins/Incognito/Jonathan Martin.
CBSMiami.com confirmed the story with CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora. The delay was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Incognito arrived at the Dolphins facility a little after 3 p.m., Thursday roughly when Schefter first reported the hearing had been delayed.
“I have agreed to postpone my expedited arbitration hearing until after the investigation by Ted Wells is complete,” Incognito said in a statement. “I will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation with a goal of resuming my career with the Miami Dolphins at the conclusion of this investigation. I love my teammates and hope we can put this distraction behind us soon.”
“The Miami Dolphins and Richie Incognito have agreed to postpone his grievance hearing during his ongoing suspension,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “Richie is cooperating fully with the NFL investigation and will meet with Ted Wells.”
Incognito was suspended after reportedly having text messages and voice mails he left for Martin turned over to the team and the NFL as part of the investigation. He was suspended indefinitely, but the actual suspension can last a maximum of four games, per the collective bargaining agreement.
The team has acknowledged that Incognito’s suspension can’t last more than four weeks and the total suspension costs can’t exceed four game checks, plus one additional game check, or roughly $1.2 million.
If the Dolphins win the arbitration hearing, the team still has just 10 days left to decide what to do with Incognito. Under the CBA, his suspension would end on December 1 when the team is supposed to be playing the New York Jets.
However, the Dolphins have told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald that Incognito will never play another down for the team.
The Dolphins initially asked for a delay for the arbitration hearing because the franchise has Wells at the team’s facility.
Incognito requested an expedited hearing when he filed his grievance earlier this month. According to ESPN, the complaint said the suspended guard alleges the Fins haven’t provided examples of the conduct that was detrimental to the team which led to the suspension.