The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal appears to look worse as more details emerge. It will likely end up with the Miami Dolphins forced to make several changes.
When Incognito was first suspended indefinitely as the NFL began to investigate his treatment of Martin, the offensive lineman tried to defend himself on Twitter. However, he was soon exposed with voicemail transcripts and video that showed a history of racist behavior. In the transcript, Incognito uses a racial slur to describe his teammate, as well as making threats over the phone. TMZ also obtained a video of him shouting the N-word in a bar.
Incognito didn’t seem too concerned about his future with the team in a recent interview. On Tuesday, he told WSVN Channel 7 in Miami "I'm just trying to weather the storm right now. This will pass."
However, his future with the team looks bleak. According to the Miami Herald, Incognito won’t continue his career with the Dolphins.
“He’s done,” a source said Monday. “There are procedures in place and everyone wants to be fair. The NFL is involved. But from a club perspective, he’ll never play another game here.”
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It won’t be easy for Miami to replace Incognito. He’s been a full-time starter since 2006 and may have had his best season in 2012 when he made the Pro Bowl for the first time. The Dolphins can’t afford to lose talent on an offensive line that has struggled in 2013. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 35 times, which is more than any other quarterback in the league. With even less protection, Tannehill will have a more difficult time improving from his rookie season.
Martin’s status with the Dolphins remains up in the air. The right tackle from Stanford joined Miami with a lot of promise, being taken in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Martin’s mental state, though, doesn’t make him a reliable option going forward. The situation involving Incognito forced him to have what was first described as an “emotional breakdown.”
The Dolphins 2013 season has taken quite a turn from the first month. The team started out the year at 3-0 and looked like they might be able to challenge the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Since then, they have just one victory and find themselves involved in of the biggest NFL scandals in recent years.
Losing 40 percent of their starting offensive line will make it that much more difficult for Miami to make the playoffs for the first time in five years. The trade deadline has passed and they won’t find an impact player in free agency. At 4-4, they trail the New York Jets by just a half-game for the final wild card spot, but they may have too many obstacles to overcome.