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Saturday 5 p.m. update: Details on Fins' season-ending move with Martin; UM-Pitt postscripts

A quick Saturday 5 p.m. update:

Jonathan Martin's season with the Dolphins officially ended on Saturday when the team placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list --- 33 days after Miami’s starting right tackle abruptly walked out on the team and into the national headlines.

The Dolphins told Martin they needed the roster spot and Martin did not object because he was not planning to play this season, according to an associate who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The team also offered to pay his salary for the final five games of the season, something that is not required for players placed on the non-football illness list.

That means Martin will be paid his entire $607,466 salary this season, including all nine games he will end up missing since leaving the team.

Martin already has missed four games, but the Dolphins were obligated to pay him for those four games because he was on the team’s 53-man roster until Saturday.

The Dolphins never strongly considered not paying Martin for the final five games, when he’s due $183,833. The Martin camp would have strongly objected -- and challenged that decision -- if the Dolphins had chosen not to pay him, according to a Martin associate.

Whether Martin returns to the Dolphins is very much in question. He wants to resume his career next season but prefers to play elsewhere barring a change of heart, according to the associate.

But Martin hasn't conveyed that to the Dolphins, and the associate would not completely rule out Martin playing here, because it’s possible owner Stephen Ross and others in the organization might try to convince him to return.

To even consider returning to the Dolphins, Martin would need to be assured that he would be welcomed back in a locker-room where players have largely sided with Richie Incognito, whom Martin has accused of harassment. And even that might not be enough. So at this point, Martin believes he likely will be elsewhere next season.

The Dolphins could trade Martin this off-season, but trading him now was not an option because the trade deadline passed in October. Martin is set to make $824,933 next season and $1.02 million in 2015.

The move with Martin comes a day after the Dolphins and Incognito agreed to extend Incognito’s suspension for a maximum of two additional games beyond Sunday’s Jets game, giving NFL appointed-special counsel Ted Wells time to finish his investigation into Martin’s allegations.

Incognito has been suspended since Nov. 3, when the Dolphins learned of a racially charged voicemail he left for Martin in April.

According to ESPN, Incognito was not paid for the first two games of his suspension but was paid for last week’s game against Carolina and will be paid for Sunday’s game against the Jets. He also will be paid for a maximum of two more games, after which the team must release him or reinstate him.

NFL rules allow teams to place players on unpaid suspension for as many as four weeks for conduct detrimental to the team. But the NFL, the players union, the Dolphins and Incognito all agreed to terms of the extension of Incognito’s suspension.

If the Dolphins ultimately release him, Incognito also reserves the right to file a grievance to try to collect pay for the first two games of his suspension.

Martin, who met with Wells for seven hours on Nov. 15, will have a second meeting with Wells very soon. Wells met for 8 ½ hours with Incognito and also has interviewed every Dolphins player and coach and key front office personnel.

Ross also has said he wants to meet with Martin after Wells' investigation is completed. There has been no recent contact between Martin and Dolphins coaches or management.

Martin, the Dolphins’ second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, has been receiving treatment for depression but expects to be able to play next season.

The Dolphins have long been aware of Martin's mental health issue. He received treatment for depression in April after he skipped two days of the Dolphins' offseason practices.

Kenny Zuckerman, Martin's agent, declined to comment.

The Dolphins filled Martin’s spot on the 53-man roster by promoting safety D.J. Campbell from the practice squad. The Dolphins had released Campbell from their 53-man roster earlier this week.

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Reaction and thoughts from UM’s 41-31 win against Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon at Heinz Field:

### UM’s defense was again leaky, allowing 501 yards (318 of those were in the second half, when UM was usually comfortably ahead) and more than 30 points for the fourth time in five games. (UM was actually outgained by 25 yards.)

But Miami --- which led 31-10 at halftime --- did enough defensively in the first half and overcame defensive lapses with brilliant offensive work: Stacy Coley’s three touchdowns, covering 32, 34 and 73 yards; Allen Hurns’ career-best 173 yards receiving (on nine catches); a splendid day from Stephen Morris (17 for 28, 296 yards, three touchdowns, no picks), a terrific effort from an offensive line that hadn’t played up to expectations at times this season; and impressive running from Gus Edwards.

### With a victory in a bowl game, UM (9-3) can win 10 games for the first time since 2003. The Canes already have won nine for the first time since 2009. And UM can win the ACC Coastal if North Carolina beats Duke at noon Saturday on ESPN2, and if Virginia upsets Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

“We’re going in the right direction,” coach Al Golden said afterward on WQAM. "We’re not where we want to be. Hopefully, we’ll have some good luck tomorrow. These kids deserve some good fortune. I’m going to bed with the mindset that these kids will get a break and we’ll be playing next week [in the ACC championship against FSU]. These group of kids, and what they showed us in terms of courage and resiliency, that will set the platform moving forward.”

### Coley is a star in the making: He has plays of 81, 79, 62, 32, 34 and 73 yards in the past four games. His three touchdowns Friday gave him nine for the season. He was wide open on his 32-yard TD to open the scoring, took a short pass and scampered 34 yards on his second TD, and made a scintillating 73-yard run on a reverse for his third score.

He would have had four touchdowns if he hadn’t dropped one in the end zone on a pass from Stephen Morris.

As AP’s Tim Reynolds noted, Coley is the only FBS player to score touchdowns on a pass, run, punt return and kickoff return this season. Coley, who finished with 171 all-purpose yards, “has grown up,” Golden said.

“I had no idea the type of work ethic he had at that time [when UM recruited him]. His work ethic, combined with his attitude and talent, is really making him a special person. He’s got great balance, doesn’t get knocked down easily."

### Morris passed Gino Torretta to move into third place for most career passing yards in UM history, with 7736, behind only Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey and Edmonton Eskimos practice squad quarterback Jacory Harris.

Morris finished the regular season with 10 passes of 50-plus yards, seven of those for touchdowns. “He played really well, even with some of the check downs he made,” Golden said. “He’s moving up the list as one of the best in Miami history.”  

### Hurns became only the fourth UM player with 1000-plus receiving yards in a season, joining Leonard Hankerson (2010), Eddie Brown (1984) and Andre Johnson (2002). Because of Duke Johnson’s injury, Hurns has been UM’s MVP this year, and look at his yardage total the past four games: 142, 107, 126 and today, 173.

Hurns tied Philip Dorsett for seventh on UM’s all-time single season reception list (58). He’s eighth on the career reception list.

### Brandon Linder, Jon Feliciano and others did very good work against Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who entered leading the nation with 26 tackles for loss. Donald had three tackles (one half for a loss) on Friday, and Morris wasn’t sacked all day.

“We had a bunch of guys on him to try to negate him,” Golden said. “Proud of the way the offensive line blocked him.”

### Edwards ran hard and decisively, finishing with 64 yards on 11 carries, including a touchdown. “We needed that – a big back,” Golden said. “He ran hard today. We’re excited about the direction he’s going.”

Dallas Crawford was held to 22 yards on 14 carries –-- just 1.4 per attempt. UM tried a wildcat play with Crawford, but that running play went nowhere. Eduardo Clements had 20 yards on five carries.

### Good to see Asante Cleveland catch his first career touchdown pass in his final regular season game. Cleveland has been a good soldier all season, accepting his blocking role with a positive attitude.

His 5-yard TD, UM’s final score of the day, was only his third catch this season. “Couldn’t be happier for the young man,” Golden said.

### First the good news defensively: UM snuffed out four of Pitt's six first-half possessions: Denzel Perryman made a very good play in coverage on a third and 2; Tracy Howard stopped a Pittsburgh receiver short of a first down (Howard has improved his tackling); Perryman made a nifty tackle for a one-yard loss (the Panthers followed with a missed 43 yard field goal). 

Ufomba Kamalu's sack forced Pittsburgh to settle for a field goal on its fifth first-half possession, and UM's pass coverage was sharp on Pitt's final first-half possession, forcing a punt.

But...

### UM allowed 92- and 95-yard drives in the second half, with the run defense against victimized on the perimeter and up the middle. Pittsburgh averaged a bloated 6.7 yards per rush on 33 attempts --- 220 in all. Unacceptable.

### How many times this season have UM defenders missed easy tackles, taken bad angles or been faked out?

It happened twice on Isaac Bennett’s 45-yard TD run in the first half. Jimmy Gaines took a bad angle, Thurston Armbrister was sealed off by a blocker and Kacy Rodgers missed a tackle. Cornelius was faked out on quarterback Tom Savage’s 7-yard TD run. Tracy Howard was faked out on Rachid Ibrahim’s 23-yard TD catch. Armbrister missed a tackle on what should have been a loss on a running play; the play instead gained 7 yards.

### Denzel Perryman played very well in the first half, but UM’s linebacker play has generally been deficient since the Florida State game. Armbrister and Cornelius have improved since arriving, but frankly, neither would be starting for a program that's Top 10 caliber. Perhaps injured Alex Figueroa will win the job next year.

And senior Jimmy Gaines, for all of his intelligence and leadership, isn’t a starting middle linebacker on a Top 10 team, either. The concern, moving forward, is that Raphael Kirby hasn’t been able to beat out Gaines.

One internal concern with Kirby is that he’s not in the right position often enough. That better change, considering he very likely will be UM’s starting middle linebacker next season.

### Good to see cornerback Artie Burns with a late pick. He was UM’s best freshman on defense over the past month. UM also has great hopes for safety Jamal Carter, who has improved.

And junior Ufomba Kamalu, a first-year Cane, has shown considerable promise the past month and will play a lot at defensive end next season.

### In pre-game workouts, several UM players --- including Jared Wheeler -- came out shirtless, in temperatures that dropped from 37 to 27 later in the game. “That was their idea," Golden said. "I started getting worried. Maybe it's a new breed."

###  Anthony Chickillo was limited by a painful toe injury.

### ESPN analyst/Canes hater Mark May, on UM: “I don’t think they’re in the top echelon of the ACC.” You don’t say, Mark? Isn’t it obvious that only FSU is in the top echelon?

But UM made progess this season, and the year will look even better if Miami beats a quality team in a bowl game. But the defense needs its four- and five-star recruits to play like stars, and more of the two- and three-star players to exceed expectations. 

       

Comments

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Steve B

Mark May hates Miami especially when we beat his Alma Mater. The Canes defense is its weak spot no doubt. Its best players are freshman and sophomores. We need improvement on the dline . As for scheme-its been too passive and we have enough talent to avoid being last in the ACC in total defense. I dont think this is all Dinofrio's fault but something has to change. One good thing is there are several weeks to implement some new ideas on defense for the bowl game.

Eddie

they wont be anything other than a 2nd tier bowl team until they get impact players in front 7 of defense. sad but true

Georgia Cane

Agree, we can only get better. Still don't understand why the Defense played well for the first 7 games and play so bad the next 5 games? Coley, has saved the Offense despite dropping a TD. The O-Line has underachieved the are big but they are more finesse than psychical. 9 & 3 better than 7 & 5 Going Bowling ! Go Canes!

Bob Griese 12

Very on point Barry. If Miami can grab some four and five star recruits to finish this recruiting cycle they can really start to develop.

rboud

There's an ongoing debate about UM's defensive talent level. You want to know one sure fire way to judge talent. When a defender is totally unblocked and an opposing ball carrier, (back, receiver, etc.) is running toward the defender and makes the defender miss the tackle without even touching the ball carrier, that is the talent decider. How many unblocked Cqnes do you have to see whiff on tackles in open space to realize some of these players lack true athletic ability. You can't coach athletic talent. I'm not defending D'Onofrio in any way, because I'm unsure about him. I am sure that there are too many players lacking real ability.

gocanes1

Miami will be scary next year with Dorsett and Coley at the wideouts, backed by Waters, Lewis and Braxton Berrios arriving.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Strong finish to the regular season, I liked them embracing the cold with the shirtless warmup and Golden not wearing a jacket.

10 wins on this year would be great, too much to hope for two lucky breaks and a Coastal championship but a Peach Bowl appearance against Manziel and Texas A&M is actually somewhat likely.

Next Man []_[]p

Miami will be scary next year with Dorsett and Coley at the wideouts, backed by Waters, Lewis and Braxton Berrios arriving.

Posted by: gocanes1 | 11/29/2013 at 08:40 PM

The recruiting cycle is not over yet and we have a 6-4 200+ pound WR coming in as well. I would like to secure a couple more blue-chippers on both sides of the ball if possible; if for no other reason than to keep them away from our rivals.

Love Artie Burns. Keep Dalvin Cook at home too.

ChampCane

I think the talent is here and greater than every team they played, except Florida State.

It has regressed in Chickillo and Perryman. The offense for Pittsburgh was not a various one. Miami should have more talent on both lines of scrimmage. The process that they are schemed in seems to be the problem.

The talent is said to be markedly better by the recruiting expert for The Herald. Two years worth of it, to be exact. So the players are here, but the coaching isn't.

Brian

Dallas Crawford dances too much, he needs to keep running and get what yardage is available when he stops the other team stops him behind the line. All year long I thought Eduardo Clements should have been the number 2 back but for some reason Golden went with Crawford. Clements will end up playing in the NFL.

AZ Cane

Would love to have a TE who can catch the ball and give defenses another guy to worry about. That could really push this offense over the top next year.

Agree that there is a talent deficiency on defense, especially in the front seven. But that can't be the only problem, because if it is we will never beat FSU, Alabama or any other top-5 team.

Randy Shannons' Agent

Onofrio is garbage. We arent asking for a great defense but an average one would be a good start.

We arent winning anything until Al tells his BFF to GTFO

Dmac

This defense will continue to struggle until that get better technique coaching and more studs in the recruiting classes.. if you look at the current class not many defensive stars. Miami takes too many chances at finding hidden gems like gains and other who just doesn't have the talent to play ball at this level. If golden also went a different direction on defensive staff more kids would show interest

Jordan

Golden's comment about hoping this team get's a break and will play in the ACC championship game.

Are you kidding us coach? You want to take this team as decimated with injuries as it is and as defensive talent starved as it is back to face FSU for another behind the BARN whipping? Give it up. Let Duke have the embarrassment game this time around. After all during college game day a few weeks ago one of the Dukies held up a sign...."we want Bama" Well good luck people because you'll be lucky to score against FSU and your looking ahead to Bama...TOO FUNNY!!!!

MIDKNIGHT RIDER

I agree with several things that was said. UM needs the 4 and 5 stars to play like it. Somehow these coaches must coach up the 2 and 3 star guys they recruited to UM. They may need to look Juco for some LB's cause these guys they have are not getting it done. Poor angles on anything of tackle!! DE/OLB getting sealed on outside runs. This WHOLE DEFENSIVE STAFF needs to get it done, or get gone!!!!

Eddie

Mark May and the Norte dame ass kisser both hate miami because they kicked the crap out of ND and may is a frustrated old lineman

Jordan

Lt. Lois Einhorn...

Hoping for a Peach Bowl against Manziel and Texas A&M
This would be a replay of the Battle of Little Big Horn.

We just gave up over 500 yds to Pitt what do you think Texas A&M would do?...those would be first half stats for the little creep.

hswalden@gmail.com

Golden is just not seeing defense coach as the weal link, if you give up 500 yards of offense in a game you normally lose. Mark is just not the coach, he is Goldens friend, but Mark might do well at small school, we need a big time defense coach who knows football. Miami will have to break ties with Mark to get to next level, next year Golden and Mark will have the same excuse we can fix it, it wont happen without defense, Golden knows this but AD Blake will have to tell Golden to fire Mark, NO PROGRESS AND NO CHANGE IN PENALTYS.

rboud

Hey Jordan - You are right on. I'm rooting for Duke and V. Tech today. The only thing a rematch with FSU will do is hurt UM's in state recruiting. It will give recruits another example of how far behind UM is right now compared to FSU. Go Devils and Go Hokies. Let UM get rested and play a bowl game in a month. These last 2 wins, such as they are, stopped the bleeding and will ensure a really good upcoming recruiting class.

cool and the gang

Canes D linemen and LB s are not even average....let alone play together as a team / as 1 unit consistently.Talent level is the biggest,glaring NEED.DOnofrio s lack of coaching them up enough (and Golden) is second.Much,much better talent needed on DEFENSE in the recruitment for the next 3 years at least.Must agree that IF Canes face Johnny football in a Bowl game....he ll run,over,around and through the Canes swiss cheese defense.The TV fans will marvel at him and the TV Networks will thank the Gods.He ll likely win the Heisman IF he plays the Canes in a Bowl...for the passing stats and running TD s he ll have.(sigh).Finally......though I m unhappy with the Cane defense I see progress and see Miami moving forward.Not back yet...by a long shot but they re improving their Program.The future is again...looking very bright.GO CANES.

GM

Good win on the road no doubt. Freshman mistake running the ball out of end zone after interception to the 4 yard line at end of game. That is beyond a horrible mistake and that play cost us 7 pts. That was not a smart play.
I reallly hope Ryan Williams Works out well but i am not sold on him being a season long starter? He waits in the pocket too long and he can't scramble. I hope I'm wrong.
Will probably end up playing Louisville in Orlando at RA Bowl. Go Canes!

Jordan

I just wish I could feel comfortable with what we have left over from this injury decimated team. I just don't see any bowl opponent we could draw as being a 10th win for this team.

As Barry pointed out we could face Louisville or Texas A&M. Both teams will run circles around our defense.

It's just a terrible feeling to have to hold your breath every time the defense takes the field against any opponent.

Fortunately, we have a quick strike offense that would have to put points up early to cover the defensive shortcomings but that only happens when Morris is making good decisions with the ball and that's been hit and miss all year.

I love our Canes and can only hope for continued success as Golden rebuilds this great program.

jmike

rboud, you are right, but I'm defending coach D. Pittsburgh's first long running play of the day, the defender was in position to tackle the runner for a loss, the runner broke the tackle and went for a 20 yard gain.were in position to make plays all afternoon,they just didn't. You can coach what they lack. They're young they'll eventually get it.

jmike

cool and the gang, you can't coach athleticism, burst, speed, and tackling ability. They don't have any of these. The fastest timed 40 in the spring for DB's was a 4.5. Not good enough.Coaching has little to do with what has happened to the D.

jmike

hswalden@gmail.com here's a question, how many 1st round draft choices did TEMPLE produce the last 7 years, and how many dod Miami produce. The answer is 3 for TEMPLE, and zero for Miami. That's all that needs to be said.

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