An already complicate issues just got even more complex today, as CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reports that Miami Dolphins second-year offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has indeed been bullied by other players on the team and that this has been a constant occurrence for Martin ever since he joined the club as a second-round pick out of Stanford. This report contrasts a statement made by the Miami Dolphins this morning, which stated that nobody- not even Martin himself- has brought up the issue of bullying. The NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington also reported yesterday that Martin sent a tweet to Incognito stating that he doesn’t blame players like Incognito, but rather the “culture” around football. Incognito also went after ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a series of tweets this morning, as he was upset with a report by Schefter and colleague Chris Mortensen, which cited sources stating that Incognito was under investigation for bullying Martin. The NFLPA has since announced that no investigation is on regarding Incognito, but La Canfora reports that the NFLPA is actually “monitoring” (but not investigating) the situation.
I would strongly recommend clicking the link above to La Canfora’s full report, which contains plenty of valuable insight. Per sources close to La Canfora, Incognito and even center Mike Pouncey were involved in verbally harassing Martin, and, again, this has happened ever since Martin joined the Dolphins. Per La Canfora, Incognito is viewed as the “ring leader”, and that Martin has a very palpable fear of Incognito’s threats.
The source(s) then went on to talk about Incognito’s history that, well, isn’t exactly spotless, and it is incredibly interesting to read this report that goes against Incognito’s recent, vehement protest of himself. Other Dolphins players have denied that bullying against Martin took place, and the belief is that Martin is dealing with a lot of personal issues outside of the team that have taken a toll on him. But we can’t rule out bullying just yet, especially with another report stating that Incognito and others were involved in harassing Martin.
It’s difficult to know what to believe, and my advice to those interested in this saga is to try and read everything. Don’t make any significant opinions either way (only minor ones). Even though Martin is now on the NFI list, this whole story is unlikely to disappear any time soon, especially with all the recent reports and rumors coming out about the situation. To this point, however, this report is by far the strongest in the argument against Incognito. If there really has been bullying, then what will the Dolphins do to try and clean things up?