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Report implicates Ireland in Martin saga; More reaction from Fins players, commentators

I'm on Non-Dolphins assignment for a few days, but here's an overnight Jonathan Martin saga briefing:

### Biggest development overnight was Pro Football Talk chief Mike Florio’s report implicating Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland in this mess.

Florio said one of Jonathan Martin’s agents, Kenny Zuckerman, called Ireland after Martin left the team Oct. 28 and complained about Richie Incognito’s behavior toward Martin. (Note: PFF changed its report later Thursday to say the call from Martin's agent to Ireland came after Martin left -- not before -- as it had earlier reported.)

According to Florio, Ireland responded by saying Martin should physically confront and "punch" Incognito.

The Dolphins declined to comment on the report.

### Brian Hartline said not only did Martin pass around and laugh about the leaked Incognito April voice mail (the one featuring threats and the N-word), but Hartline said: “I never thought it was a death threat. I never ever thought he was actually going to do the things he said. If you can't take validity from one part of the voice mail, how do you take validity from the whole voice mail? You can't pick and choose what parts count and which parts don't count."

### Several players declined to comment when asked if Martin would be welcomed back in the locker-room. "That's not my position to take on that," Hartline said. "I do have a position, but I don't think it's fair to share it."

### Interesting how a few players have suggested Martin would need to be forgiven, presumably for –- in their eyes –- taking this matter to team management and allowing his representation to leak it publicly.

"Stand up and be a man," Tyson Clabo said. "I don't know why [Martin] is doing this."

(Isn’t it the bully that needs to be forgiven? Not if his teammates don’t consider Incognito a bully, and none of them who have spoken publicly do.)

Tannehill, asked if he would welcome the players back, said: “It’s tough.  Both guys at this point have their rights and wrongs.  If they were allowed to come back, if they chose to come back, I’m big on forgiving people.  Forgiving people of what they’ve done, getting past that and not crucifying people for their past and moving forward.”

### Former Dolphins offensive tackle Lydon Murtha, who was released by the team in the preseason of 2012, wrote an essay for Peter King’s MMQB web site and said, among other things, that Martin “wouldn’t look anyone in the eye.” He said Incognito used the N-word with Martin in meetings and “all Martin did was laugh.”

And what about those suggesting the coaching staff knew none of this was happening? “Coaches know everything. That’s the most outlandish lie of the whole thing.”

MORE TANNEHILL

Tannehill offered extensive responses on several questions. Among them:

### On why this realistically couldn’t have been prevented before the story mushroomed: “That’s another thing, there were no warning signs, I’ve heard all these warning sings we were supposed to see.  He was the same guy all the time.  Pretty quiet, just kind of went about his business, joked around here and there but overall a quiet guy.  It’s tough to see warning signs when a guy doesn’t change.”

### On if he was ever aware of anyone telling someone to toughen up Jonathan Martin, as has been reported elsewhere: “No.  I was never told that, never heard of that.  I just heard of that today, that that concept was being thrown out there, but I have never heard of that before.”

### On if he would have intervened if he would have found out about this situation sooner: “Of course.  That’s part of being a leader of this team.  You want to step in and help anybody who is dealing with something.  If I had any idea that this was an issue, that he was struggling, of course I would have constantly checked on him, ‘How are you doing, how are things going, just making sure you’re ok’. You can never judge another man for what they are going through, everyone deals with something different in life and just to have no idea that this is even going on is tough for me because you can’t help a situation that you didn’t know existed.   No one on this team knew it existed.  We have a bunch of good guys in this locker room and to be put in a situation where everyone’s attacking the locker room, saying it’s such a bad place, such a bad culture, no leadership to stand up and stop the situation, no one knew there was a situation to be stopped.  It’s really tough for us to sit here and hear all of that when we have each other’s backs and I wouldn’t have a problem stopping a situation if it was occurring.  Richie (Incognito) didn’t use that type of language, that was on the voice mail and in the locker room  he didn’t’ talk to other guys that way, in a derogatory way that was attacking.”

### And finally, from Tannehill: "All I know about Richie (Incognito) is that he was a great teammate to me, I saw him being a great teammate all the time.  Does he like to give guys a hard time? Yes.  Does he like to pester guys and have fun? Yes.  He brought a lot of laughter to this locker room, he brought a lot of cohesiveness to this locker room and he was the best teammate that I could ask for.”

INSIDE THE NFL TAKE

Showtime’s usually thoughtful Inside the NFL addressed the issue Wednesday night. Here’s what they had to say:

PHIL SIMMS: The coaching aspect, there is no chance that anything is going to change but it’s going to stay the same, status quo.  Now when you talk about Jonathan Martin, I think my first thought there is it is not a problem in the NFL.  It’s not.  I will be shocked if there are more than one or two instances like that in every five years.  So, I think we are going to find out that it’s not around the league.  It’s just an isolated incident.

JAMES BROWN: I draw a very hard line.  In terms of what that (disciplinary) action would be I don’t know.  But I would seriously consider it because I think there is a line beyond which you cannot cross.  You don’t get to racially offend, hurling epithets, spewing epithets at somebody. That is way over the line.  

SIMMS: Think about it from Jonathan Martin’s side.  It has to affect him so greatly that he had to leave.  Because he knew, leaving was going to do what?  Bring it to national attention.  So it had to be that bad. 

BROWN: I find it interesting that a lot of folks will try to put a lot of credence on what the other black (foot)ball players were saying about how they would welcome Incognito back because he is a tough guy.  That bothers me to the core because that in no way gives any legitimacy to the fact that we ought to buy into that simply because a number of other black ball players said we could do that… Even though I played basketball I still understand the competitive arena and I understand what folks are talking about in terms of you’ve got to display that toughness.  If I’m playing ball with you (turns to Cris Collinsworth, who remained silent) I know I can go on and battle in any situation because you’re not going to back down. Phil, a tough quarterback, (I) would go to battle with him any day.  But there is still a line across which you won’t step.  You tell me I’m going to get into a foxhole with the guy I know who does not like me and who is using those racial epithets or talking about my folks, I’ve got a problem with that, absolutely.  

Comments

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Lazaro Gomez

that's why Jeff Ireland has been keeping his head down cuz he knows he messed up once again enuff is enuff fire this guy he's absolutely ruined this franchise can't draft can't sign free agents what more does Stephen Ross need is he trying to get the stadium empty completely empty all Stephen Ross has to do is go back and look at the last 6 drafts and see what players drafted and they're still playing and he'll see that this guy is horrible this team reflects the upper management lack of leadership

Granderson

Incognito is being made a scapegoat by Martin for his troubles in the league. Martin has severe mental issues and is probably suffering from depression. If I were Incognito I would sue Martin, Philbin, Ireland and the Dolphins, win $100 million and go live on an island somewhere.

Sunny Dee

This is terrific news for the Dolphins franchise. No way Ireland keeps his job now. Ireland should be fired ASAP. Bring in a new GM and allow him to fire Philbin as well.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

The way Riley Cooper used the n-word was offensive, it was an offensive context.

If anyone is going to be upset about Incognito using the n-word, they have to be equally upset at all the black men, especially in sports and entertainment, who use that word because they're using it the same way Incognito did.

Coral Gables '81

This is so good for this team. Nothing like having all of your warts exposed. I am tremendously disappointed in any and every African American who uses this word- from the rappers to the comedians- and any one in between. This team now shows why it is struggling in mediocrity, they have spineless morons (see Mike Pouncey, free Aaron Hernandez hat)who are incapable or unwilling to stand for what is right. They have no conscience, they have no soul, just a bunch of buffoons who believe they have arrived. Please remember idiots, as you blow through your money- your shelf life is very limited. Inevitably, you are going to need other talents in your lives to be successful from your mid thirties through the rest of your life.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Oh, and on Jeff Ireland being implicated?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usfiAsWR4qU

jmike

Granderson, really, really, Incognito calls Martin a 1/2 n-word, he says he's going t kill Martin, extrorts $15,000 from Martin, and he's suing Martin, TELL me on WHAT LEGAL THEORY.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Jonathan Martin may have ruined a lucrative NFL career by going AWOL and then releasing only a single transcript of an offseason trash talking voicemail to the media.

Incognito should have a great case against Martin if he loses his job.

Sunny Dee

I'm not saying Incognito has a viable claim, but the theory would be tortious interference with a business relationship, assuming the voice mail was made in jest, Martin knew it was made in jest, and Incognito loses his job with the Dolphins.

Marios

We're gonna have to wait until everything comes out because the story is changing fast.

If what Hartline says about Martin laughing at the voice mail is true then that changes the whole situation.

Incognito should have known better than to use the "N" word, that is true, but everything about him extorting and being a bully appears to have been overblown.

The one thing that is pretty much nailed down is how Ireland screwed up, I think this will finally be the straw that breaks the camel's back for him(hopefully.

JJ

This whole thing was staged by Martin's representation...Consider the time line...
-Player rep goes to Ireland to site harrassement prior to 10/28..is told to have Martin punch back ( HA HA )
-Martin checks himself into hospital to make it look like he is under distress...but continues to hang out with Bully (inexplixably in eyes of Agent who is coordinating plan)
-Player rep tells Martin to explode at first sign of disrepsect and then to walk out to show publicly it is somthing he cannot handle, but would have to come after hospital visit to be viable
-Martin chooses to do so at a very slight sign of harrassement making everybody wonder what the heck..(Im sure the rep wishes he had chosen a better instance to make his case stronger)
-Now Martin gets to quit football ( which he wanted according to Pouncy) and be able to sue for and receive lost wages over a WHOLE carear due to being personally scar'd and now toxic entity due to retribution...without having to play agian..
Neat little plan...Hopefully his agent will be banned for life for ruining a carear ( Incognito ) and a whole football season... Dolphins

chrisyesan@gmail.com

This shows the lack of leadership and awareness of team structure. Starting from UIreland all the way down. FIRE IRELAND!!!!

David

Some here just don't get it. This is NOT a pro football issue. It is a WORK PLACE issue. If a co-worker called you the n word threatened you and YOUR FAMILY and you sued them for harassment that co-worker would not, could not win in court. PERIOD. I don't care how much other co-workers liked him or were ok with him calling them that word. No relevance WHATSOEVER.

Andy

Please, oh please, let Ireland be the fall guy for this mess

Lt. Lois Einhorn

David - how is that not relevant?

First off, throw "threatening his family" out the window. He said he was going to slap Martin's mother, it's a joke and there's no argument to be made that it wasn't, don't be ridiculous.

And if Incognito is using the n-word the EXACT same way all the black guys, especially in the sports and entertainment worlds, use it then how is he more liable than Jay-Z or Dwyane Wade or Marshawn Lynch for "abusing" their co-workers by using that word?

John Snyder

The underbelly of football is being exposed at a rapid pace. In the past year we have Steubenville, rapes at Navy and a Mo. H.S. concussions, CTE, and
suicides, Grambling, the annual H.S. football deaths. Yesterday John Moffitt, a marginal player with the Broncos quit, saying his health was much more important than the Million dollars he was passing up.
And now we have bullying. Not a single Dolphin will stand up for Martin. At first a few rookies seemed to say that, yes, there was financial bullying. Now not a peep. The bullying continues.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

If you think players aren't speaking up about Incognito because they're afraid of being "bullied" you're insane.

Incognito is off the team, probably never to return.

They're supporting Incognito and speaking out against Martin because Jonathan Martin is wrong.

John Snyder

I find it hard to believe that not a single player
has anything decent to say about Martin. I'm not
suggesting Incognito is the present bully, I'm suggesting that Dolphin's management won't let the players say anything good about Martin.

And isn't ironic that the most famous OL in the league
is named Incognito?

Lt. Lois Einhorn

The players were instructed not to say anything at all to the media, they're breaking that rule to support Richie Incognito.

It sounds like none of them outside the offensive line even knew Martin, I doubt they'd have anything to say about him even if they were asked.

Al B.

Posted by: John Snyder | 11/07/2013 at 04:16 PM
----------------------------------------

This.

John Snyder

Perhaps they should replace the dolphin on their helmet with Sargent Shultz and change their motto to
"I know Nothing."
I understand the cop code that Martin violated, but
someone should have his back just a little bit.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

If anyone had his back they would be speaking up for him like they are for Incognito.

Surprisingly enough they don't seem to support the guy who left the team high and dry at their weakest position days before a critical Thursday Night Football game because of a middle school lunch room prank.

Usaywha

Why save the voice message for 6 months...especially after laughing about it with other players? Why never say anything to anyone about being harassed? Why now? Could it be he basically lost his position and part of the reason the Dolphins traded for a new starting LT? He checked himself into a hospital, what hospital ....how did he know to go there? Now Martin wants to come back? Why lawyer up if you want to come back? Why talk to Richie and says it's not him, them have your lawyers release part of a message and accuse incognito of harassment? The list goes on and on.

Incognito isn't free of guilt, but Martins actions are very odd and or fishy.

octavio de armas

Ireland drafted Martin 2nd round. He brought in Incognito. None of this year draft have contributed at all and lately he has been mediocre at best. The guy that needs to go is Ireland. Who is the architect of this current Dolphins team. We the fans need to stop attending the games. Hurt Ross where it hurts, in his pockets. Show them we have had enough.

octavio de armas

Meant to say the Kicker from Florida has been mediocre as of late.

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