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Reports: Dolphins knew internally despite denials

Several new layers of the onion that is the Incognito-Martin-NFL review scandal are being peeled back by ProFootballTalk.com and Monday Morning Quarterback this morning. And believing the information in both items should make the Dolphins cry.

In PFT, Mike Florio reports "Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland received a call from Martin’s agent, Rick Smith, before Martin left the team on October 28. Smith complained to Ireland about the manner in which Incognito was treating Martin.

"Ireland, according to the sources, suggested to Smith that Martin physically confront Incognito. Ireland specifically mentioned that Martin should “punch” Incognito."

In MMQB, Peter King had former Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha write a first-person account of what he saw in the Dolphins locker room of the relationship between Incognito and Martin and the rest of the organization. And he writes, in part, this:

"Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about any so-called hazing. That’s the most outlandish lie of this whole thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who’s getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous."

And taken on its face -- and if true -- this is truly problematic for Dolphins coaches and Ireland.

If the NFL Review, which began Wednesday, shows that one of Martin's agents alerted Ireland and thus the Dolphins that his client felt uncomfortable or harassed or bullied or upset in any fashion and the response from someone as high in the Dolphins command structure as Ireland was to simply suggest Martin "punch" Incognito, it shows a callous disregard for Martin's well-being.

If, as Murtha contends, coaches know everything, then we have a conspiracy on our hands.

And worse, we have a cover-up.

Consider that Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has said on numerous occasions the Dolphins didn't know anything about Martin's uncomfortable feelings regarding Incognito. Consider that on Sunday -- a full six days after Martin left the team and Philbin visited him at the hospital where he was seeking emotional help -- the Dolphins released a statement dismissing allegations of bullying as merely "speculation."

And yet ... these reports.

The Dolphins can only hope that context and full disclosure and facts over opinion all work on their behalf to overshadow this kind of information.

What do I mean by that?

Well, take the Florio report. Obviously there are only two people on that phone conversation between Ireland and Smith. And Ireland isn't talking to anyone per the Dolphins policy of not commenting during the ongoing NFL review and Smith is obviously the source.

And as Smith's agenda is to show cause on Martin's behalf, the information does exactly that.

But I cannot believe an agent calls an NFL GM and they talk about a topic so sensitive and the only theme coming out of the conversation is "punch" Incognito. Ireland would have to be an unserious goof for that to be true. (And he is not).

Perhaps he suggested Martin "punch" Incognito in passing. And perhaps after doing that, the phone call became more serious. We. Do. Not. Know.

One thing: Ireland has two autistic daughters. He knows what it is to have children who are singled out on a daily basis. I find it hard to believe he simply dismissed the idea that one of his players was being singled out in such a cavalier manner.

[Update: Florio, a friend who honors me by reading this blog, emailed me this morning when he saw this post. He writes in part: "The context was that Smith was complaining about Incognito and Ireland expressed confusion as to why this was an issue and said that Martin should go punch him."]

As to Murtha's contention that coaches knew. That is entirely possible. His saying it makes it sound probable. Yet, he does not know. The last time Murtha was in the Dolphins locker room was during the 2012 training camp. It's been fully 15 months since he's been around.

So he's speculating. As Peter King, who runs MMQB, is a good reporter, I assume he read Murtha's draft assertions and asked questions. And the question that begs asking is, "Which coaches know? Name names."

No one is named by Murtha. He paints the assertion with a wide brush stroke. And this investigation is going to require precision stenciling.

So we need specifics. We need more context. We need more information.

But if the allegations in these two reports are accurate, Ireland and the coaching staff are in a world of trouble.




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The truth is...
who cares about fisher, his team sucks, even with all the picks a FA's he signed. glad he isn't here!!

dez bryant?? 1st of all notice he didn't mention the momma thing till after we passed on him. also he told ireland his dad was a pimp and his mother worked for his dad. so i'm guessing his mom was a hooker.

finally wow, how weird promoting physicality on the football field. promoting standing up for yourself. but we don't have any idea if this report is even true dude!!!

i'll wait till the NFL does it's actually investigation over reports be players who weren't there. even mando, a guy who seems to dislike ireland thinks some of this is BS speaks volumes.

The stuff that goes on behind closed doors in NFL locker rooms is more commonplace than people think, the Dolphins are just the first ones that have had this type of incident made public. This goes more to the personalities involved and the more so the "ROOT" of the problem in my opinion is mental illness on Martin's part, The dude snapped, he tried to fit in was most likely taken advantage of in different ways and some of you may be right about him not being cut-out for football. The game Martin was playing to fit in was "FAKE" it was not who he is and obviously there is some kind of mental unstability here. More to come...

Armando - Please update your blog with the update from PFT.. Smith was not the agent that called Ireland, and the call came AFTER martin left the team..

Those are some pretty critical facts that are being distorted and it is a huge difference that Ireland made that comment AFTER he left vs. while he was still on the team and Ireland could actually address the complaint.

Media needs to get it right.. Peoples lives are at stake here.. Please correct your blog..

I've never seen so much attention be given to such a non-story. You media should be ashamed at your so called reporting of "news". This is not even worthy of a story. Do you honestly think this is the first time NFL players use this sort of language during phone conversations and threaten each other in a joking manner? This is a non-story and happens every day on telephones across America.


For me, all this CRAP is part of the Mediocrity Management by Jeff Ireland, not mentioning the complete ignorance of Football operations from the Owner. On the other hand, we need tougher players to compete and it's very ridiculous to see an offensive linemen causing all this circus, specially when we are having problems to establish an decent group of reliable Males to protect our Quarterback and block in a average way to be able to run the ball. "PLEASE FIRE IRELAND" "We cannot afford more mediocrity in Miami"


If you really cared about the truth, you would have posted a correction to this blog shortly after Florio made a material correction to his article (i.e., the correction was that the conversation between Martin's agent and Ireland did not occur until AFTER Martin left, not before). Florio corrected his article around 11 am. It's almost 8 hours later and you still haven't corrected your blog or the headline. If I were to engage in the same assumption making and boneheaded arguments that you and the rest of the "the facts be damned" media are engaged in, I would conclude that you are intentionally perpetuating lies and intending to harm the reputation of the Dolphins and their personnel. What other conclusion is there? Either that you are lazy/incompetent, which is bad and you should be fired, or that you intend to hurt others by perpetuating falsehoods, which again is bad and you should be fired. Does this ridiculous logic sound familiar?

Mondo you are unbelievable. After engaging in several days of rampant speculation, earlier today you said you needed to step back and wait for the truth before making assumptions. What a joke. How convenient is that? Now that you see how wrong you may have been and things aren't always the way they are initially portrayed, you suddenly want to sit back and wait for the truth so you don’t continue to cram your foot further down your throat. Problem is, there is nothing at this point that can undo the harm you and others already caused to Cogs. Further, if you really meant what you said, you would have corrected this blog. Better yet, you should have completely retracted it because there are no “facts” that support your arguments.

This whole fiasco is a joke and purely media driven. If the race of the players were reversed, this would never have been a story. The media is seizing on it not because they care about Martin or the NFL work place but to perpetuate their liberal agendas and continue with their on-going white racist narrative. You clowns learned nothing from the Duke Lacrosse case. Can’t wait to see you and others start backtracking when the full truth comes out.

Please guys lighten up, if and when I return to the team I promise all will be well. I know this may sound crazy to many but the Dolphins is my team. I sincerely love them and respect them all as individuals. My only hope is for us all to get along as a family and continue to grow and appreciate one another mutually.

Set up. Until I hear differently I'll go with the kid doesn't want to play football and his parents are demanding a payday.

Bottom Line! Ross believed he had competent leadership in both his GM and HC and with each passing day they look more and more like mere amateurs. Imagine what the talking heads and screaming voices would sound like here in this paper if the commenting section was still active. Miami's worst nightmare!!
Stephen Ross should sell our team and buy a bubble gum factory. Good luck getting FA's in here under these clowns if it turns out Icognito was thrown under the bus.

john gruden new coach of the miami dolphins!

Once again, the usual suspects feel obliged to reveal themselves as morons. After Martin "punches" Incognito, then what? Most of these p-ants have never seen a serious fight, much less one between big men. The worst outcomes will bring harm and settle nothing. What these posts prove without question is that Martin has more sense than the median Herald sports reader, likely also staff, and almost certainly coaching staff. No surprise there. #

The reporting on this incident does not take into account the possibility that the Martins might be the ones stirring the pot here. He's a grown man who walked off a well paying job and went home to his parents because his co-workers were hostile? From the git-go something is up with that. Another piece is the deafening silence form a largely African American locker room. Black men are not known for tolerating racist language from White men. Not in 2013. Somebody would have already lit up Incognito.

I don't have anything against either player, but I get the feeling his parents, rather than Jonathan Martin, have an issue with Incognito.

I get all the Ireland and Philbin get fired noise but you don't fire no one on a 4-4 record at mid season.

It sounds as though Ireland acted like a jerk, but think about how football players respond to things. If the coaches or administrators told his teammates to back off and take it easy on Martin, they would probably treat him even worse, accusing him of being a baby and a snitch. The players would probably respond a lot better to Martin standing up to them himself and telling them to back off. Ireland may have been giving what seemed to him like good advice, if he didnt realize just how troubled Martin was by the abuse.

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