Posted February 25, 2014

Report: Jonathan Martin rejects return to Dolphins

NFL
Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin reportedly had enough of his teammates' bullying and teasing. (AP)

Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin reportedly does not want to return to the Dolphins. (AP)

A meeting between the Dolphins’ front office and Jonathan Martin’s agents resulted in the offensive tackle rejecting the team’s interest in bringing him back and coach Joe Philbin blaming Martin’s agents for the controversy surrounding his team’s locker room culture, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Martin’s agents later disputed La Canfora’s report.

According to the report, the agents for Martin met with Dolphins CEO Dawn Aponte, new GM Dennis Hickey and coach Joe Philbin at the combine to discuss Martin’s future with the club. While Hickey expressed the team’s desire that Martin remain a Dolphin, he reportedly was told that Martin was not comfortable returning.

Martin was a starting tackle for the Dolphins and remains under contract after leaving the team last season. An NFL report prepared by Ted Wells detailed the harassment and bullying that took place in Miami’s locker room.

La Canfora’s report also cites sources as saying Philbin used the meeting to blame Martin’s agents for helping the situation explode from an in-house issue to a full-blown controversy.

Hickey did most of the talking from Miami’s side, according to sources, with Philbin “staring daggers” across the room. At the end of the meeting, however, sources said Philbin expressed his belief that Martin’s agents were responsible for Miami’s locker room controversy reaching this point, that they were the real problem and alluding that Martin’s concerns could have been kept more private and handled differently.

The Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill in the wake of the report. The NFL has yet to announce disciplinary action on the team or players — such as offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey — whose actions were revealed in the report.

 In a statement to La Canfora, Martin’s agents denied the report was true.


12 comments
GTT
GTT

IF this is true, then the Dolphins have learned nothing and the housecleaning needs to continue.

Dolphinslament
Dolphinslament

Philbin must have some of obama's dna, don't know anything about anything, had no idea, no one told him, had no idea a member of his  staff was involved, . evidently the only time Philbin was around was from an hour before game time and an hour after, in between he was in a coma.

tarheel2
tarheel2

This is exactly why the Dolphins appear to be more of a circus than an actual business organization.  Makes a whole lot of sense to bring this whiner back to a team of players that have already said they would rather have Incognito than him.  Way to get the locker room unified guys.

AlaGator
AlaGator

Gotta love the NFL.  Twenty one of the 32 teams have at least one player on the roster charged with domestic violence for beating up a wife or girlfriend and they're OK with that, but are all upset when a 300 lb. lineman whines about someone being verbally abusive to him.  SMH.

The_truth_hurts
The_truth_hurts

Biggest coward in sports history. This guy should put on his tutu and go ice skate. Talk about a black eye for the NFL.

pk_sea
pk_sea

I've been overseas for the past 6 months. Did something happened to my boy Martin?

jshunk16
jshunk16

Wasn't the team's analysis of Martin's play that he basically sucked? (Read the texts between Incognito and Martin.)


Cut him loose - no great loss.



Bucky182
Bucky182

What a joke. Martin and his agents are a bunch of amateurs. Bush league, if you will. Wasn't Martin's stance that he wanted to rejoin the Dolphins the entire time, were looking forward to the meeting at the combine and then decide to flip-flop? Honestly, good for Philbin for just listening to the bullcrap and then telling Team Martin what was what. Might as well bring Richie back now, Martin won't be there pester anymore.

rma101560
rma101560

As if he could ever go back to that team and locker room.

Joe R2
Joe R2

The worst sports "fans" in the country deserve this circus...

ChrisMcCoy
ChrisMcCoy

@Bucky182  He never said he wanted to rejoin the Dolphins. He said he wanted to play football again. Big difference. Richie Incognito is an idiot that will probably not be on any team in 2014. He is borderline insane. He is in the hospital as we speak. He got drunk, parked his $270k Ferrrari on his front lawn, then destroyed it with a baseball bat. 

Martin has been consistent since the beginning. Nonviolent. There is no shame in that. 

VictorLin
VictorLin

@Bucky182  I remember feeling much the same way as Martin did in the Wells report when I was bullied.  There are not a lot of options because teachers and parents don't quite understand and don't know what to do.  If they don't, how's the kid supposed to?  I think it is unsympathetic to judge Martin in this way.  That being said, I was 13 at the time, and by 15 had learned to punch back.  


Should we commend Martin for not punching back?  Or condemn him?  I find myself surprised by these various posts regarding this.  The Dolphins are still my team, but even had I the talent, I would not play for them.  It's going to be an interesting season for me next year, not knowing what to think or to feel regarding them.  


Bullying is a problem.  There is NO excuse for the behavior of the Dolphins organization.  Whether Martin is a wimp or not... sometimes it takes wimps to reveal problems.  A similar form of organizational blinders was responsible for the issues at Penn State-- thank goodness something like that was not a problem with the Dolphins.  But the same lack of transparency and open lines of communication and accountability was at the root of it.


I would be surprised if Martin returned to the Dolphins.  I would not be surprised if he cannot find a home in the NFL.  But in his own way, as wimpy as it seemed, Martin is in some ways a hero, because he opened eyes.  And if he never plays in the NFL again, then perhaps he will make it so that other players with similar issues don't have to deal with what he did.  Because that kind of behavior has no place in a professional organization.  There needed to be alternate lines of communicaton and conflict resolution.  And there weren't.  The Dolphins failed to support one of their own at multiple levels.   When the bullies are on the leadership council, that's a problem.  When coaches and head trainers promote those types of behavior, it's a problem.  When the stigma of being a 'snitch' enables bullies to have free reign, that's a problem.


Personally, I'd cut Pouncey, too.  And bringing Incognito back would be a PR disaster, not to mention the wrong thing to do.