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The future for Incognito and Martin

The much anticipated Ted Wells report that will put to rest the nightmare that followed the Dolphins for the better part of a month during the 2013 season will be delivered to the NFL either late this week or early next week. The assumption is the NFL will release the report soon afterward.

And while much has been reported (and misreported) about this whole affair, what I have been reporting for months is certain: Neither Richie Incognito nor Jonathan Martin, the principals in the scandal that rocked the Dolphins franchise, will ever play for the Dolphins again.

And that deserves investigating because all is not exactly as it seems:

It will seem, on the surface, that Incognito will never play for Miami again because the Dolphins are moving in a new direction on the offensive line and their former left guard is a free agent about to hit the market.

The truth is the week after the scandal broke, The Miami Herald reported Incognito was "done" with the Dolphins. That seems obvious now in hindsight but when it came out, several media outlets contested the report.

At any rate, the question today is not whether Incognito will return to Miami. It's not even whether he'll be able to return to the NFL. As The Herald also reported on Dec. 11, Incognito agreed to be suspended for the entire rest of 2013 (with pay) possibly in return for not losing 2014 playing time.

And this is where we begin to dig because, well, Incognito is a good player. He has a history in Miami that includes the golf course assault of a female greens volunteer. He obviously had previous issues he's addressed before arriving in Miami.

But did I mention he's a good player?

That's the thing. That's always the thing in the NFL. Players who can play can find jobs in the NFL. Barring prison stays, even guys who have off-field troubles but have on-field gifts get opportunities in the NFL. 

And that's Incognito. He's got demons he must address. But he's not in jail and he can play. Voila!

He'll be on a team in 2014.

So what can happen with him? Some team will undoubtedly sign him as a free agent. If I were a general manager and needed a relatively cheap ($3-$4 million) guard, Incognito would be on my list. But ...

I would only do it on a short-term basis. No way I give Incognito a four- or five-year contract.

One year for me. Two years max and even then I'm uncomfortable.


Because for whatever issues Incognito has beaten in the past and whatever failings he had with the Dolphins, he is usually a smart guy when he's on his meds. And he knows that he must be on his best behavior with his next team.

And he probably will be watching every p and q he texts teammates from now on -- at least for one year.

This isn't a new dynamic, by the way. Plenty of problem children have found a year or two of peace in new surroundings while they try to prove to the media, fans, coaches and mostly other GMs holding purse strings, that they can be trusted.

Folks like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens often had banner seasons the first or even second year with new teams. But give them a long-term deal and they get comfortable. Pay them and they start to feel entitled again. Commit to them and the old habits resurface. They blow up teams.

The way to manage players like that is keep them on a prove-it basis.

And it usually works for everyone. The team gets the player's best because he is motivated to get paid in his next one- or multi-year contract. The player obviously puts his best work on tape because, again, he wants to get paid next year.

Unless I miss my guess or there is a seriously trusting GM out there, that's the kind of deal Incognito will find waiting for him in free agency.

And then there's Jonathan Martin.

The common thinking here is the Dolphins will keep him on the roster until they can find a suitable trade partner that won't totally take them to the cleaners. I understand the logic. The team paid a second-round pick for him so it would be good to get something in return for him.

I have an alternate idea. No, not bringing him back to the team.

The Dolphins should simply waive Jonathan Martin. Good-bye. Godspeed. Lesson learned for everyone. Let's start a new day. Let's turn the final page on that chapter. Let's enjoy the game of inches and embrace all the cliched metaphors for fresh starts and simply cut Martin loose.

Why such a move, you ask?

Because unless new GM Dennis Hickey is a man gifted with the ability to perform the Jedi mind trick, no other team is going to really give him anything of significance for Martin because everyone knows the Dolphins want to get rid of him. It also didn't help owner Stephen Ross said as much in a press conference.

And even if some team is willing to give a seventh or perhaps even a sixth-round pick for Martin, the negotiation process is going to take a while.

And Martin will remain on the roster during that time.

I argue the value of cutting Martin swiftly and sending a message to the rest of the players in the Dolphins locker room -- who incidentally do not like Martin too much -- brings more value than peddling him like a medieval beggar trying to barter for food scraps.

Cut him. Give him what he most wants, which is his freedom. But gain, in the process, the franchise's freedom to move forward.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, that would hurt the Dolphins cap. You don't know anything about handling a roster. Come to think of it, you don't know anything about football.)

Yes gallery, I am actually aware the NFL operates under a salary cap. Thanks for that. I am also aware the move I propose is almost cap neutral. Cutting Martin would cost the Dolphins approximately $957,734 in dead money if done immediately, less if designated for after June 1. But that total pinch would be mitigated by the fact the Dolphins would not pay Martin his $824,933 base salary for 2014. So the actual cap hit would be $132,801.

For that pittance, the Dolphins would break the chains of this story dragging on while they shop Martin. Hickey would be free of pundits saying his first significant move was getting taken in a trade. And did I mention it would give the team a reset?

Resets are good sometimes. While the conditions are different, the New England Patriots reset quickly when Aaron Hernandez went all Al Capone on society. They didn't keep him around to wait for the legal system to decide his fate. They cut his posterior immediately. They separated themselves from an ugly situation.

No, Martin does not represent an ugly criminal situation. There is a sizeable portion of the population that sees him as the one and only victim in this drama. I get that.

So fine, let's reward him for his anguish. Cut him. Allow him to be free.

And, more importantly, allow the Dolphins to move forward.


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Samson Satele and Johnathan Martin inside and Trent Richardson in the backfield - wow Luck better be ready next year...


You are so right. If Mosely is there you jump on him. We need help so bad at at ILB. We need to get this rush defense under control, we have a good DL but LB's who cant stop the run. I think Ellerbe will be fine if he is kicked to the outside . I think Wheeler can really contribute on dispersing Gatorade to his teammates, the only way I want to see him on the field.

Anyone else think that with everyone pegging us to select Zack Martin, that it wont actually happen

I would try and trade Martin for a 6th or 7th. There's no games to be played and there will be no distraction. He won't show up to OTAs. If they can get nothing for him, cut him.

Craig M, I have heard Zach Martin a lot also. He seems to be in that tier of offensive tackles that don't really jump out to me like Robinson, Matthews, and even Lewan do. I would be much happier if Lewan ended up at 19 to play RT for a year or 2 and be the LT of the future.

At 19 overall I would want a lineman that could plug right in to play right tackle or guard. If Martin could do that I would consider him. I think Hickey should take RB in rounds 2-4. There will be quality backs there.

I'm not a big fan of the free agent TE's unless they come for cheap. I would rather lock Clay up long term. I would love if the team got Ebron in round 1 as BPA and playmaker. Him, Clay, and Wallace could create matchup nightmares. Just my 2 cents.

Mike Wallace is useless without a decent QB. You would've hoped Ireland had learned that from Marshall-Henne.

Yeah its way too early to project players as more than just a fun exercise for us fans to pass the time. We will have a bit better of an idea after free agency.

I read somewhere that mock drafts this time of year are right about 3 percent of the time.

No one had us taking Dion Jordan. Everyone said O-line last year too. Not saying one way or the other was right, but no one knows whats going on on the inside.

rdubs, mosley also lokoks like he can cover - ILB is just a big a need as Oline. And he may be the kind of guy that is BPA and fits a need.

Keep in mind that Ellerbe is pretty much in the last year of his deal. He's signed for about $10M in 2015 and none of it is guranteed. Unless he moves from just meh to the next coming of Zach Thomas - he won't be back. That's a lot of scratch - signs two very good players with that cap hit.

Riddle me this Phin Phans.

So if we dont address OL in Free agency and Free agency comes before the draft. What if there arent any good options at OL when we are on the clock?

Your balls are showing.

Rdubs we will be in for another long year if that happens. Would love Mosley, but I think hes gone top 10. BS schedule tiebreaker really hurt us. Having a harder schedule has us at 19th. Bears have the easiest schedule of the 8-8 teams and picks at 14.

philbin saw the leadership council as a threat to his authority. as a result each member was not resigned. as a result we have lost some locker-room leaders recently; dansby, bush, burnett, jake long,langford and y.bell. without veteran leaders incidents like the incognito/martin escalate. long would have stopped incognito instantly. our front office talks a good game then glosses over cogs sexual assault on the golf volunteer. ross also formed a PR oversight committee with several "big names" which will never meet.

What I like about Mosley is his high Football IQ. Sagan has said that he is the smartest defensive player he has ever coached.

And Craig, I don't have to look back. Like I said, go back and check. Incognito was talking all this he missed Jake stuff, AND JAKE NEVER RESPONDED!!


That would've helped Incognito's case. Jake could've said something as simple as it was a misunderstanding between Martin and Cogs, and that Richie was a great guy. BUT JAKE SAID NOTHING!!

Even Samunda who was cut stood up for Richie. Where was Jake?

And Don't say Jake didn't have to respond. Cause if someone is attacking a friend with senseless allegations WE ALL WOULD'VE RESPONDED!!

it's ok
evry1 is coming
out of the closet now
don't worry

Dansby - underperformed his entire career here

Bush - played hard and tried..but numerous injuries and fumbles

long - Great but now broken

Burnett - overpaid and mediocre

Y.Bell - sucked his last couple years in Miami

Langford - way overpaid by Rams

So we lost leaders that werent that great and werent some of these players gone before Philbin?

San Fransisco will draft Sam and convert him to wide receiver. He'd be a natural.

I also read that Sam was a good baseball player. He can both pitch and catch. Always an option for him if he isn't drafted by an NFL team.


You forgot to add that Dansby quits every time the 4th qtr comes around.

We wouldn't of have won those close games last year with Dansby in the Middle. He would've gave the lead away like he always did.

Kendall Longford and y. Bell now?


Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. Bell couldn't cover an offensive tackle in a pass pattern and the Rams are moving on from Langford. Those players - except for Bush and Long - are gone because they couldn't or chose not to try to earn their money. If they did - they would still be here - leadership council or not.

Steve69 @ 12:50

Marshall made the pro bowl when Henne was his QB - look it up.

So Y.Bell is better than R.Jones?

And Philbin didn't cut Y.Bell. Parcels did. Bell hasn't been on the team since 2010.

Philbin didnt even want Incognito on the team but Irescum insisted Philbin keep him. He's been a cancer everywhere he goes.

Marshall made the pro bowl when Henne was his QB - look it up.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | February 11, 2014 at 01:15 PM

Marshall hated Henne for his incompetence and was often seen screaming at him. His TD totals were a career low. Same with Wallace-Tannebust. Ireland learned nothing from the Marshall-Henne debacle. A top receiver is useless without a QB.

R.Bush is already being replaced by the lions. He had a very mediocre season playing on one of the Most prolific offenses in the NFL. R.Bush didn't face One stacked box this whole season. Even in the Red Zone.

Long is the one guy that they wanted tos ign but wouldn't sign here. other than re-franchising the guy that would've cost $16M against the cap, what could teh team do? Nothing. And as I remember, I was all up for giving this guy a big contract and many, many posters here would grill me on a daily basis for that - now he is the football Jesus that got away... dam.

Reggie bush is the one I will grant - he should've been kept.

Steve Marco wants a 69 SAMwich.

6th rd pick is better than nothing... Clay was a 6th rd pick Matthews and Wilson were 7ths

Actually ETF, the year marshall made the pro bowl was the matt moore year. henne only played the first five games and he hated both the miami qbs so much that the first thing he did when accepting the pro bowl mvp (marshall's highest career achievement to date) was tell everyone that is what he could do when he had real QBs throwing him the ball - thus escalating his exit from Miami.

And Steve, Wallace had more yards receiving this year with tannehill than he had with Big ben the prior year despite it being the first year the two worked together.


Last year most bloggers here wanted a Midget KR or a Mediocre TE in the first.

Agreed. It is to early to make mock drafts. Right now we should just talk about players that might be available and can fill a need.

My first round pick will still be K.Benjamin or M.Evans. I'm with the group that says you don't go after needs in the first 2 rounds. You draft BPA. Not the 3rd or 4th best player because you have a need.

I feel only 2 positions can trump BPA if you have a need in the first and second. QB and MLB. Because both are the unquestioned leaders on their side of the ball. They make the calls for their unit.

The future for Incognito and Martin??

Incognito has no future.

Bush took an arrow to the knee going back to play on turf in a dome and walking away from the soft grasses of SoFla that saved his subpar career. Love his work ethic and attiutude. But Reggies production? Meh.


I believe not signing Long was the first nail in Ireland's coffin with S.Ross. Apart of losing his #1 overall pick. He lost a Michigan guy. You know that had to hurt Ross.

Letting Reggie Bush walk away yet keeping D Thomas was MORONIC. Especilly with 30 million in cap space available!!! Pete Caroll would NEVER EVER have made such a stupid damaging move.


I believe losing Long hurt Ireland with S.Ross.

Losing your #1 Overall pick. And a Michigan guy. That had to bother S.Ross.

Posted by: Shula 73 | February 11, 2014 at 01:41 PM

And what EXACTLY do you think Bush would have done behind 2013s OL?? Hmmm? Besides be decapitated while twinkle toeing behind them? Bush's YPC avg would have been "IR" after the first quarter of the season.

isnt it setting a bad precedence letting martin have what he wanted all along? I think so.

"BTW When is the last time we drafted a player in the second round that panned out for us?


that would be sean smith

"And what EXACTLY do you think Bush would have done behind 2013s OL?? Hmmm? Besides be decapitated while twinkle toeing behind them? Bush's YPC avg would have been "IR" after the first quarter of the season.

Was basically the same oline he had in 2013 minus an injured jake long.

Our qb would not have had 58 sacks if reggie bush was our rb still.You know it. I know it. Stop playing dumb

" Love his work ethic and attiutude. But Reggies production? Meh.


How can any football fan think reggie bush and his 1200 yards and 8 td's was worse then lamar miller and thomas. Did they even break 1000 yards? Combined?They suck, amd miller was the reason we let bush walk.Bush wasnt even asking for a big contract is whats dumb about all this

Reggie was Tannehill's safety valve and arguably the best in the NFL. He was sorely missed and many sacks would've been prevented had he been signed. He also is a far better blocker than anything on the roster.

How can any football fan think reggie bush and his 1200 yards and 8 td's was worse then lamar miller and thomas. Did they even break 1000 yards? Combined?They suck, amd miller was the reason we let bush walk.Bush wasnt even asking for a big contract is whats dumb about all this

Posted by: corners | February 11, 2014 at 01:59 PM

Everyone on the Dolphins is great and everyone not on the Dolphins stinks. You get that?

Of course I cant explain why the team stinks every year.

Yeah Dashi, you ahd to wonder what was going through Ireland's head thinking Martin could be the LT. There was absolutely nothing he showed in his rookie year that would indicate that he could be the LT. Anyway, yeah, that and the other decisions on the o line is pretty much why Ireland is sipping margaritas this year instead of trying to build on a playoff team here in Miami. Shame.


Dont be so simple! You know what Ireland saw in Jonathan Martin, it was his killer instinct LMAO

Steve Marco 69 SAMwich are not here but they are always here. Just around the corners. TheyHeSheIt think we are Blind. Silly billys.

MIT, signing Branden Albert would place us in a BPA 1st rd draft situation. My only fear is the "BUNGLED" GM search may again given the franchise yet another blackeye. Affecting a prized fa such as Albert and the probability of him wanting to play here. Hope, I'm so... wrong about this.

Anyway, Signing Albert does give us flexibility in drafting a mlb like Mosely. However, if we could sign Albert, drafting a LT/OG like Zack Martin would sort of complete the OL. Albert at LT, Martin at LG.

Now, you have both Cogs and Martin(Jonathan) replaced on the left side of OL. Maybe even draft a RT 2nd rd and the oline's completely "FIXED".

Then, 2015 can be the offseason to use both fa and the first 2 rds to completely "FACE LIFT" our D. Even as presently constructed, our D had a very fine year in "POINTS ALLOWED".

So, focusing totally on fixing the OL still gives us a great chance of "OUTSCORING" most of our opponents in 2014. Also, get a rb too.

Though, I hate seeing Bush go, he wasn't exactly a short nor longterm solution for this offense. It's proven he'll miss upto 4-5gms a year. Then he's more, "Mr. EXCITEMENT" than "Mr. Playoffs".

Ask the Lions. Ahem....

IMO, Bush is more of a piece you add to an already championship caliber offense. Not a primary piece that will lead you there. Reason Sean Payton(Saints) allowed him to walk in fa(Dolphins).

Mark they're Curling for Gold. So exciting lol

Getting Mosley at 19 would be great. But I don't think he'll last that long.
Must sign Albert in FA, OT's at 19 not good enough.
How the heck did the Phins end up at 19 anyways?

Armando's absolutely right. Unless some gm rings the phone with an offer we can not refuse, just cut Martin's posterior.

New gm, clean slate. He did not pick Martin, so he has "ZERO LIABILITY" to keep him. Hickey's only responsibility is in bringing in a LT that's superstar worthy. That's all he'll be judged on.


You know whats funny. Seattle could have just signed R.Bush in place of P.Harvin and been able to save draft picks and cap room. I know they play different positions but could be used about the same.

What do you guys think of Dexter Mccluster, he is a FA this year

Hickey's only responsibility is in bringing in a LT that's superstar worthy. That's all he'll be judged on.

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 11, 2014 at 02:32 PM

Hickey's only responsibility is in bringing in a QB that's superstar worthy.

McCluster would be a nice addition, as Thigpen seemed less explosive this year. But not for a huge contract.


Money talks and bullshite walks. Show Albert the money and he will come. heres the problem with Albert- hes injury prone just like Long. Hes going to be 29 this year- not exactly a spring chicken.
yesterday on the phinsider- somebody lobbied for Anthony Collins from Cinn who did a nice job at LT and would come cheaper than Albert. Hes also almost 2 years younger than Albert. They can sign Collins and guard like Asamoah from KC and instantly upgrade the OL- thereby allowing BPA for the 19th pick. Or instead of a guard- get Michael Oher or Roger Saffold to pair with Collin and now you have the OT taken care of. If Zach Martin is chosen at #19- assuming hes the BPA at that point- then draft him and the whole line is fixed- affordably too! I think the team needs a playmaking safety and am hoping that Haha-dix or however you spell his name is availabe at #19

I do not forsee a trade up and Hickey knows he has little time to right this ship. IF anything- a trade down into the later 20s to pick up an extra pick. Otherwise- they stay put.

MassDolphan, exactly why signing Albert and then drafting Zach Martin makes a "WHOLE LOT OF SENSE". We can not keep "DIDDLE-DADDLING" around with this OL. We need to "FIX AND FORGET IT".

Branden Albert LT FA
Zach Martin OG #19
Pouncey C

See, the "left side is totally fixed. Then use the 2nd rd pick for BPA RG or RT. Wallah.... the oline is now 4/5ths fixed. I still think the defense can wait until 2015 to be face-lifted, because in 2013 they still weren't giving up a ton of points.

Sam, I think you need to sign 2 very competent o linemen in free agency - and one of them NEEDS to be a left tackle if the team hopes to have any shot. Albert is ideal but there are a couple of other options but not many. Saffold, Monroe, Veldheer, etc.

You add in another o lineman - RG or RT and we are clear sailign into the draft.

Again, I don;t have a big problem picking a guard in the first but he better be dam special. Especially when there will be impact players available.

We could get a starting guard or RT in round two easy. heck even Wannstedt was able to find Todd Wade and if Wannstedt can find a starter in round two - I'm sure Hickey can.


I think Collins should be target number one. I think Cincy might try to keep him though


I hope Hickey has the nuts to take Kelvin Benjamin if he is there. Huge target with speed opposite Wallace. The middle will be wide freakin open all damn day!

I really hope there is no trade up this year. There are too many holes to fill and I think Hickey will not repeat Ireland's mistake from last year. When there are alot of holes, having more draft picks in the early rounds is alot more important than moving up and having less picks.


Here is a video of Chris Chambers talking about the WR's.


Im totally on the Benjamin band wagon.

Rdubs- Collins was filling in for Whitworth. I think Cinn is only going to keep one of them and Whitworth is affordably under contract.

Frank from PA, since it's Hickey's 1st year as GM, I would feel more comfortable with him staying at #19 than trying to "get cute"(trading up or down 1st rd).

As a new gm, last thing you want to do is end up with a 1st rd bust trying to "be cute". I would much rather see him miss at the #19 slot. If he misses.

First prove to the fans you "can hit" in your "designated slot", then you can be trusted with the draft day trades up or down.

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