April 27, 2018
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Dolphins lift Incognito suspension; texts shed light on relationship

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Offensive lineman Richie Incognito’s suspension was lifted by the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported.

The Dolphins’ move, described by the Herald as administrative in nature, came after text messages between Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin obtained by USA Today Sports brought new context to the relationship between peers.

Incognito had been suspended since Nov. 3 when allegations of bullying by Martin against Incognito came to light. A report from investigator Ted Wells, who was hired by the NFL, has yet to be released.

The text messages appeared to indicate what might viewed as a typical locker room relationship between the two and genuine concern from Incognito after Martin left the team on Oct. 28.

In the texts, Incognito was shocked after Martin accused him of harassment and bullying.

Martin’s reply was, “I got nothing to do with it man I haven’t said anything to anyone.”

Through a league source on Monday, USA Today obtained the full transcript of over 1,000 text messages Incognito and Martin swapped between October 2012 and November 2013.

The bullying scandal that contributed to general manager Jeff Ireland in January will add a chapter later this week when NFL special investigator Ted Wells releases his findings of the independent review of the Davie, Fla., workplace.

Voicemails Incognito left for Martin, as reported by ESPN, contained racial epithets and profane language. Some text messages exchanged between the two, as reported by Fox Sports, NFL Network and CBS in Miami, reveal much of the same.

Martin appeared on the “Today Show” last week and told former NFL coach Tony Dungy that the attacks he endured from teammates were “personal” and “racial.”

On Oct. 28, Incognito sent Martin five texts in the evening and night, apparently after Martin stormed out of the team cafeteria following a prank by fellow offensive linemen. All of the texts seemed to be wondering about Martin’s welfare.

Incognito was suspended on Nov. 3 for conduct detrimental to the team.

The two stayed in touch from the end of the 2012 season through the start of training camp, with Incognito often checking on his teammate’s training.

The texts indicate how the relationship ended. As they often did, the two hit the town together on Oct. 23. Five days later, Martin stormed out of the team’s training complex.

Incognito reached out to Martin six times the night of Oct. 28, asking his teammate to call or text him.

The next day, Incognito wrote: “What’s up dude Glad to hear Ur ok I’m here if u ever need to talk. I’ve been through enough (expletive) myself to understand.”

Finally, Martin responded four days after he left the team, saying: “Wassup man? The worlds gone crazy lol I’m good tho congrats on the win. … I’m good man. It’s insane bro but just know I don’t blame you guys at all it’s just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.”

Later that night, Incognito sent Martin a copy of an ESPN story that, for the first time, implicated Incognito as Martin’s alleged tormenter.

Martin responded: “I got nothing to do with it man I haven’t said anything to anyone.” That was the last of the hundreds of texts Martin would send Incognito.

Incognito’s final text to Martin, according to USA Today’s report, came Nov. 3: “Bro can we talk? The dolphins are talking about releasing me.”

Incognito was indefinitely suspended that night.

When Incognito becomes a free agent in March, the Dolphins will not likely re-sign him.


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