DAVIE (CBSMiami) – NFL investigator Ted Wells is in Davie Monday to interview Dolphins players and staffers over the scandal between guard Richie Incognito and tackle Jonathan Martin.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Wells will be particularly interested in getting more information from Dolphins offensive line coach Ted Wells and center Mike Pouncey. The third-year center missed Sunday’s game due to an illness, but the Herald reported he may have witnessed the alleged mistreatment from Incognito to Martin.
Wells released a statement Monday morning that read: We look forward to meeting with Dolphins players, coaches and staff in order to get the facts and prepare a thorough and fair report. The Dolphins organization has been very helpful in arranging the interviews and urging their personnel to cooperate with the investigation. We have asked all Dolphins personnel to respect the process and avoid commenting on the investigation.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that when Martin met with Wells last week, he did not single out Incognito as being solely behind the alleged harassment. According to Glazer, Martin said that he and Incognito were “friends” and that it was “more than just one guy” harassing him.
Also on Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the NFL has received other tips of bullying/harassment in the Dolphins’ locker room.
Dolphins players say they hope the investigation moves forward quickly.
“At the end of the day, it’s secondary,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “We have to do it. We have to provide the information we know, but hopefully that is a short 15 minute interview and then the rest of the week is all football.”
All of it continues to cast a dark shadow over the Dolphins as the team tries to get the ship moving forward on the field. After a victory on Sunday over the Chargers, the Dolphins are 5-5 and right in the middle of the hunt for the final wild card spot in the AFC.
Martin’s claims of harassment exploded into the press a few weeks ago when he walked away from the team after an incident in the team’s cafeteria. Since then, reports have come out alleging Incognito used racial slurs and threats as part of an alleged culture of harassment inside the Fins’ locker room.
Wells is supposed to meet with the Dolphins players and staffers through Wednesday. The meetings will include players, coaches, front-office staffers, and anyone else the NFL believes may have relevant information to the investigation.
One day after Wells is scheduled to conclude the interviews at the Dolphins’ facility, Incognito will have his expedited hearing on the grievance he filed against the team last week. Incognito is challenging the indefinite suspension the Dolphins placed on him in the wake of the Martin scandal.
Under the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners, a team can keep a player suspended for four games for conduct detrimental to the team. If the arbitrator sides with Incognito, the Dolphins could be forced to either activate him or release him by this weekend, depending on the timing of a ruling.
Whatever the final results of the investigation and Incognito’s hearings end up, fans have said they’ve had enoughh.
“Myself and a lot of other fans, we feel pretty frustrated about what’s going on,” said fan Roger Paul. “So we feel like a change is in order.”