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Jonathan Martin Case Takes More Weird Twists: Money, Bullying, And The Miami Lifestyle

  • Rick Chandler

Was the Dolphins’ Richie Incognito the “ringleader” in the alleged bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin, resulting in Martin leaving the team? Did the alleged incident occur because Martin was expected to chip in $15,000 for a trip to Vegas, and was afraid of repercussions when he didn’t pay? Why did the Dolphins issue a statement this morning downplaying the bullying allegations, then have to reverse themselves a few hours later?

And hey, did the Dolphins win today despite all of this?

All we know for sure is that the answer to the last question is yes. Other than that, let’s check out the latest reports.

After early this morning downplaying reports that the second-year offensive tackle from Stanford had left the team due to bullying and harassment by some teammates, the Dolphins were forced to admit later today that Martin’s representatives have alleged “player misconduct” by teammates that forced Martin to leave the team.

At least two sources have implicated Dolphins’ guard Richie Incognito for alleged harassment incidents of Martin dating to his rookie season in 2012. It may have centered around money: CBS reporting that Martin was pressured to chip in $15,000 for a team trip to Las Vegas, and feared what would happen to him if he didn’t.

The NFL Players Association says they are investigating.

Martin walked out of Dolphins camp last week after an alleged bullying incident in the training facility cafeteria.

The Dolphins statement:

“We received notification today from Jonathan’s representation about allegations of player misconduct. We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further. We have also reached out to the NFL and asked them to conduct an objective and thorough review. As an organization, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another.”

But a report by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora implicated Dolphins’ guard Incognito, who was “the ring-leader,” of the ongoing bullying, acting particularly “menacing” toward Martin, while center Mike Pouncey was also involved.

ESPN originally reported on Friday that Incognito was involved, which did not please the Dolphins’ player.

Since then, however, the CBS report also named Incognito, and alleged that money is involved.

Last week’s flare-up between Martin and his teammates, “was not an isolated incident — not even close,” one source said. “It’s been going on almost since they drafted him.”

Martin’s exact problems with the team aren’t clear, but a media report on Sunday suggested that money was one of them. The report said that Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito asked Martin to chip-in $15,000 for a Las Vegas trip last summer.

Martin allegedly gave Incognito the $15,000 because he feared the consequences of what might happen if he didn’t.

Incognito and Martin exchanged text messages on Friday and in one of those texts, Martin told Incognito, “I don’t blame you guys at all.” However, according to ESPN.com, Martin only sent that text because he feared retribution.

Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes that the problem on the Dolphins goes far beyond Martin.

Obviously, more to come on this.

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