Joe Philbin's Dolphins
has stayed in the playoff chase this season, despite a depleted offensive line. (J Pat Carter/AP)
Apparently, if the Miami Dolphins had complied to the wishes of head coach Joe Philbin, the ugly Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation may have been nipped in the bud.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Philbin pushed for the team to release Incognito in 2012, after the Dolphins' lineman was involved in an alleged harassment incident during a charity golf outing. The details of that incident surfaced early last month -- a Miami ABC affiliate secured a police report that stated Incognito inappropriately touched a female volunteer with a golf club.
According to Schefter, the most recent revelation came to light during the NFL-mandated investigation into Martin's claims that he had been bullied by Incognito. The Dolphins suspended Incognito several weeks ago, then recently extended that suspension (with pay) while the NFL continues to look into the matter. Under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, teams are only allowed to suspend players for a maximum of four games; the continued absence for Incognito was an agreement by both parties.
Meanwhile, Martin was placed on the non-football injury list this week. He has not returned to the team since taking an unexcused absence prior to Miami's Halloween night game against Cincinnati.
Shortly after Martin made his claims, several Dolphins players came to Incognito's defense, with Randy Starks saying that they wanted "to clear Richie's name."
Incognito started all 16 games for the Dolphins last season, Philbin's first year as head coach. He was in the starting lineup again for the opening eight games of 2013 before the situation with Martin became public.