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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.

Why?

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.

Comments

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Posted by: Frank from PA | February 11, 2014 at 06:31 PM


As we "PRIORTIZE" we find "OFFENSE" as need with GREATEST SENSE of URGENCY.

But, with "BPA" we can use GREATEST OVERALL IMPACT as our gardening tool. Allowing to "positionally scope" both sides of the ball. Problem with this is, at #19, this true-type player doesnt exist.

True BPA is best of best, not best of the rest. Drafting bpa after top 10, that bpa had better be definitively head and shoulders over your positional priority. If all things are fairly equal, you're best to go with positional priority.

Still, with fa to even come to pass, it's far premature ascertain what the draft needs to be. BPA, nor Priority. Unless, of course, we enjoy pissing in the wind and calling it rain. :)

With Incognito gone why cant Martin return to his RT position? He was ok at RT and should thrive in a better environment.

Posted by: Bill A. | February 11, 2014 at 06:39 PM

I'm no "ROCKET SCIENTIST", but, wasnt it moving MARTIN to RT that started all of this mess to begin with? Thought so.

Teams were waiting for the Fins to cut Incognito before the playoffs so they could sign him. Teams look at how much support he got from the locker room and know he will be a great team mate. Incognito will be signed quickly and the Fins will continue to look foolish.

Greatest "on-the-field" problem with keeping Martin is that we'll never have him play LT again. The problems began in moving him "back to RT".

Bobbyd,

The team is not going to look foolish for cutting Incognito. He forced their hand. Between the racist, sexist texts, and the assault of a woman staffer at a party that was covered up, he wore out his welcome. This speaks nothing of J martin, who I agree with mando, needs to be cut. Why give the dolphins a draft pick when everyone knows the Dolphins are going to cut Martin anyway?

Incognito is also 34 and his play was declining anyway. Despite his age, he has shown he is too immature to be a team leader. So really, who would want Incognito- not too many takers I would guess.

Frank, the team cant cut Cogs. He's a "FREE AGENT" when the "new season" officially begins.

SAM,

I agree that FA will dictate how the team drafts potentially so it is far to early to determine who the Dolphins might end up drafting.

Based on your theory and of the players I just mentioned @631, you would select Clinton-Dix as the 19th pick because he is the number 1 rated safety by far and the other guys I mentioned were second or third best types. Correct? Is the top rated S worth more than the third best OT or second best WR? That was my point for asking the question. YOu would probably say yes, especially if clemons wasn't resigned and replaced by a guy like jarius Byrd.

SAM,

I know Cogs is a FA. Read bobbyd12 post @657. That post was meant to refute what bbbyd was saying about the dolphins looking foolish for cutting cogs. Cutting meaning in past tense.

SAM,

Im insulted that you would think I didn't know that fact about cogs. LOL

still shocked bobbyd has turned against miami, guess he finally had enough

wasnt it moving MARTIN to RT that started all of this mess to begin with?

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 11, 2014 at 06:56 PM


No. He was much more effective at RT than LT.

Frank, actually when you think about it, if there's a team that considers itself playoff caliber, and need a new starting RT. Jonathan Martin is their "perfect solution" if they consider him a "substantial" upgrade to their present RT.

If this is the case, they are more than happy to give up a "6th rd" pick. Thier odds of finding a starting RT and is an upgrade to what they have "are slim to none".

Plus, if Martin is cut, he'll have to slide past 15 to 20 teams before they would have a shot at him. It's "HIGHLY DOUBTFUL" any starting calibre player, at any position, clears waivers past 15 to 20 "OTHER TEAMS".

If we "HOLD OUT", it may be possible to get at least a 6th rd pick for Martin. Teams know he's a "STARTING CALIBRE" right tackles. Starting olinemen at any position are tough to find. Then getting one that's "still very young" too. Is a freaking coup for a 6th rd pick.

Bobby,

Incognito is a racist and a cancer and has no business in the NFL. There isnt a team in the league that would want to risk his antics.

Philbin didnt want Incognito on the team.

Incognito was also a druggie according to his tweets. No team wants that around.

Frank Clinton-Dix is not a priority and could still be around as late as mid 2nd rd. Definitely dont want to use the #19 pick on a safety that may have still been on the board mid to late 2nd rd.

Or that Ha-Ha(Clinton-Dix) will be the rest of the league LAUGHING at us.(AGAIN)


Teams know he's a "STARTING CALIBRE" right tackles. Starting olinemen at any position are tough to find. Then getting one that's "still very young" too. Is a freaking coup for a 6th rd pick.

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 11, 2014 at 07:18 PM

Agree ,so why not keep him. He could be a fixture at RT for many many years.

Agree ,so why not keep him. He could be a fixture at RT for many many years.

Posted by: Bill A | February 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM

Maybe because the whole team hates his guts for causing a huge distraction? Nobody supported him. He is bad for team chemistry.

Ray Farmer picked the Browns over the Dolphins. WOW! How low can we go?

Just catching up from yesterday. Resident loser Marco really got EXPOSED last night. Good job blogger(s)

I don't think it was Martin's intention to cause such a stir. He probably thought it would be a one day article, then it blew up out of control. I'm not defending him. He couldn't handle it, simple as that.

They will both work again. Lineman are a hard bread to come by. Teams forgive what they can. Many NFL players have done far worse things than Martin and Cogs.

Maybe because the whole team hates his guts for causing a huge distraction? Nobody supported him. He is bad for team chemistry.

Posted by: SSA | February 11, 2014 at 07:48 PM


Heck, half the team hates TannePuke and he's still on the team.


CadillacDeVille = ETF = FIRE ROSS = LONELY LOSER SLIME

Heck, half the team hates TannePuke and he's still on the team.

Posted by: CadillacDeVille | February 11, 2014 at 07:59 PM

Next year will be his last season and then he's gone too.

so this is where all the political and sports genius' hang out huh? I no longer feel alone. What have you guys accomplished for your country? what have you accomplished for your city or town. Yeah, that's what I thought. Nothing but blow hards thinking they got all the answers while they either anonymously whine or cower in mom's basement

Fan | February 11, 2014 at 08:03 PM

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Use my name all you what if it helps you.

Scholar | February 11, 2014 at 08:07 PM

Please tell us what you have accomplished for your country, city, street, or backyard.

It was Incognito that caused the problem same as he did on every team he's been on.

Scholar, it is true these folks are all know nothing blow hards with low wage jobs any dirck wad can do. But...what makes you so special?

You know, it is real easy to KNOW IT ALL, when you are not sitting in the seat, under the gun.

That is obvious to most people with a modicum of real life experience. This excludes all of you bone head diaper boys.

Agree ,so why not keep him. He could be a fixture at RT for many many years.

Posted by: Bill A | February 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM


Posted many, many, many times. Moving Martin "BACK TO RIGHT TACKLE" is what started his meltdown. He was distraught about moving back to RT. Not the locker room situation.

The "TIMING" of the Cogs/Martin situation slaps us all in the face. We need only turn and look.

Had Martin never been moved from "LT" it's 99% DOUBTFUL the Cogs/Martin situation would have ever existed.

Question of the Day***Answer of the Day


Q: What do all bloggers here have in commong?

A: Dismal sex life.

YG,

What is dryer - Sand or your wives prune poozy?

Had Martin never been moved from "LT" it's 99% DOUBTFUL the Cogs/Martin situation would have ever existed.

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 11, 2014 at 08:18 PM

That is complete hogwash!! The racism and discrimination and rxtortion were against J Martin.

Sam YG DB told us Stanzi would be the unsung hero of his draft. LOL. How do you spell B.U.S.T.?

Bill A is very naive,

YG SAMBO

Will you lick your wife's clam dip on Valentines Day?

LMFAO!

Humans. Doing the same old dumb repetitive things and calling it fun. Simply because we're either to dumb or lazy to do anything else. :)

An idiot never "out thinks" himself. If he did, then he wouldnt be an idiot, eh?

Roses are purple, violets are pink. These are lies, but your breath still stinks.

keep talking Sam, your keep proving your ignorance

I think whoever drafts Michael Sam should pick up Incognito to mentor him. Picture that!

I have two lovers. My left hand and my right. Menage a trios tonight baby.

I have two lovers. My left hand and my right. Menage a trios tonight baby.

Posted by: BRICKHOUSE | February 11, 2014 at 08:55 PM


BRICK = Dashe

Whats naive is to think Jonathan Martin "cracked" from changing positions or for that matter from ANY one event. It was clearly a total of 10-15 events dating back to the previous season and including the last lunch. This will all be made clear when the report comes out.

Whats naive is to think Jonathan Martin "cracked" from changing positions

Posted by: Voice of Reason | February 11, 2014 at 09:09 PM


Yet he cracked the same week he had to change positions LOL.

Don't compare me to dashe .. that's an Incognito bash. Now i know how Martin felt.


He cracked the same time he was the subject of racism, discrimination, and extortion...

Voice or reason, There is a reason they called him BIG WIERDO !

300+ pound man cracking over locker room chat? Puhlease. Martin realized he couldn't hack it and tried to escape with dignity. He failed.

Voice or reason, There is a reason they called him BIG WIERDO !

Posted by: BRICKHOUSE | February 11, 2014 at 09:21 PM


Yeah cause Incognito is a big JACKASS!! LOL

Yes, I'm black your white your screwed. If it were Incognito leaving becauce Martin bullied him it would not have been a huge story.

Yes, Jackass and pussy good bye to both. They were nothing special anway.

- Hey, Richie, leave me alone. I don't want to go out with you anymore, I don't feel comfortable. You and I are very different. - C'mon, Jon, I just want to make you tougher.

That was a good piece I just wrote. What you guys think of it?

Ha! You didn't like that one.

If you ever wonder why the world is so messed up...
look no further than the clueless bloggers here.


The degradation of society is in full force.

The dumbing down of our voters has been a smashing success. Far easier than expected!

They still think its a two party system and too dumb to realize they only have the freedom to be stupid. Just like we planned it.

Yeah... let'em keep their freedom of speech. Theyre all to dumb to believe the truth anyway.

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