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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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TK SWANN

I'VE TRIED TO GIVE IRELAND THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE FOR THINGS TO CHANGE BUT TO BE APART OF THIS CRAP LET'S ME KNOW HE STILL WORRIES MORE ABOUT OFF THE FIELD CRAP THAN ON THE FIELD.. HE PISSED ME OFF WITH THE "DEZ BRYANT MOTHER ISSUE" AND THE DRAFTING OF ALL THESE INJURED PLAYERS AND NOT GETTING AVAILABLE GOOD PLAYERS WHEN WE CAN AND WHEN WE REALLY NEED(ALBERT). AS FAR AS INCOGNITO GOES I THINK IF YOU BRING MARTIN BACK(HOPE NOT) YOU BRING RICHIE BACK. I KNOW RICHIE USED THE N WORD BUT UNDERSTAND THIS " MORE YOUNGER GENERATION AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE NOT AS OFFEND AS MUCH AS OLDER AFRICAN AMERICANS(LIKE MYSELF) ARE.. THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT BUT WHAT OFFENDS OTHERS MAYNOT OFFEND EVERYONE ELSE. THE BLACK PLAYERS AS A WHOLE WANT INCOGNITO BACK AND DON'T REALLY WANT MARTIN BACK. WHY? BECAUSE RICHIE WAS A TYPICAL NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO LIKED TO HAVE FUN WITH HIS TEAMMATES AND WAS TOUGH AS NAILS(A FOOTBALL PLAYER) MARTIN ?? YOU BE THE JUDGE!! "ONE DAY A BABY IS SUPPOSE TO GROW UP" RIGHT?

rboud

I don't know who's wrong or right, but I can't understand how Dolphin players, especially black players, can be so supportive of a guy who uses racially derogatory language. Incognito used that language and deserves no support. As for Ireland, he wore out his welcome a long time ago.

Penguin

James Brown is great.

ADB

with all due respect to the Network guys, James Brown and Simms are from an older generation. I too am from their generation and the type of "banter" that is permissible and where that line is has changed. Brown was likely subjected to racism in the civil rights era. Those words sting more! Today's young men (esp. men) do not ascribe to the same restrictions as our generation did; that is reality whether we like it or not.

John Snyder

Ireland's under/over on the job is two days. Read Jason
Whitlock, Ireland basically drafted a soft prep school kid into Attica, Pouncey was Aaron Hernandez's best friend, Incognito is a total thug/gangsta,(which makes him more of a brotha than the Stanford educated Martin.)
Dolphin players: I ask you to look at the harassment
complaint filed by a black woman at a charity golf tournament last year and still have his back.
It is my belief that winless Tampa Bay will crush the
Dolphins and there will be many new faces in Miami in
2014.

John Snyder

Also understand both of parents are Harvard Law grads,
the Dolphins (whether you agree with lawyers or not
are in some deep - - - stuff.)
I have no dog in this fight. The Miami Dolphins are
NFL history, 17-0, 3 straight Super Bowls, my greatest QB-Dan Marino, Shula, Csonka.
I foresee terrible trouble. (but I stay - - -)

Coral Gables '81

This is a team of losers from top to bottom. It is rotten and no good. There is no proper context to use the n word in, it is not funny or anything to joke about- that is to all of the black players who exist temporarily in this fantasy world. Please stop to think of all of the other black people in America who have to drive a bus, try to teach school, operate a small business or any other endeavor. As for Incognito, your police report from the golf outing speaks for itself.

Usaywha

There was NO extortion, the OL planned a trip to Vegas....including Martin. ALL the OLchipped in, including Incognito and Martin. They had a private jet, hotels, golf....everything planned out and Martin pulled out at the last minute. Every person committed, they agreed to an amount each could afford then Martin pulls out. Sorry, jet was already reserved and I'm sure non refundable money was put up. Martin should have to pay, you can't agree to everything then pull out of trip at last minute. No extortion, just a continued pattern of a spoiled baby that always gets his way.

I'm not impressed with Ireland, but Martin was a Philbin choice. What a freakin mess.

Jeff

Wow! Tyson Clabo is a real tough guy! He said Jonathan Martin should Stand up, and be a man. That's from a guy who can't stand up and block, allowing more sacks than any other OT in the NFL!

Phinnished

So, one OLineman was a soft chicken, and another one was more preoccupied over who's gonna buy his snacks and dinners and vacations. No wonder the OL has sucked.

2 day weight loss diet

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