Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin disappeared from the team earlier this week following a prank gone wrong, but the Dolphins have since released a statement stating that no bullying was involved. The NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington reported yesterday that Martin said, in a text to guard Richie Incognito, that he doesn’t blame his teammates, but rather the “culture” of the game. The NFLPA has announced that they are not investigating Incognito or any other Dolphins player for bullying, so Martin’s absence is due to personal issues on his front.
Dolphins players and others associated with the team, including head coach Joe Philbin, are making an effort to stay in touch with Martin, and current starting right tackle Tyson Clabo (Martin was the starter on the right side following the Bryant McKinnie trade) called Martin a “talented” player and stated that he hopes the second-year Stanford product can get things in order and return.
Martin has likely been dealing with a steady stream of compounding issues in his life, so it is mean-spirited to try and judge him or call him a “wuss” (or worse). Don’t act like you know the story and don’t suddenly degrade somebody’s character. Richie Incognito feels that way, as he went after ESPN’s Adam Schefter this morning, following a report in which Schefter and Chris Mortensen cited sources who stated that the NFLPA was investigating Incognito for bullying. Schefter and Mort are usually much more reliable than that, so it was interesting to see them end up way off base at the expense of Incognito.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Dolphins will place Jonathan Martin on the reserve/NFI, but Rapoport isn’t sure if the Dolphins will end up paying Martin’s salary. My guess is that they will, otherwise they would run the risk of a serious P.R. issue by not paying Martin.