Dolphins suspend Incognito, seek NFL’s help

Updated: November 4, 2013, 2:01 AM ET


By
James Walker | ESPN.com


The Miami Dolphins have suspended starting guard Richie Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team.

Incognito was being reviewed by the Dolphins, the NFL and the NFL Players Association for harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team last week following a lunchroom incident.

“The Miami Dolphins have suspended Richie Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team,” the team said in a statement released late Sunday night. “We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and as a result we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time. As we noted earlier, we reached out to the NFL to conduct an objective and thorough review. We will continue to work with the league on this matter.”

Incognito, who had been a part of the Dolphins’ six-player leadership council, started all eight games for the Dolphins (4-4) this year. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Backup guard Nate Garner will start in his place.

Representatives for Martin contacted the team Sunday regarding allegations of harassment and player misconduct, with the Dolphins saying in a statement they have asked the NFL to investigate the matter.

“We received notification today from Jonathan’s representation about allegations of player misconduct. We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further,” the Dolphins said in another statement released earlier Sunday.

“We have also reached out to the NFL and asked them to conduct an objective and thorough review. As an organization, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another.”

Sources told ESPN that one of the significant allegations being reviewed is that Incognito got Martin to contribute $15,000 to help finance a trip to Las Vegas by some Dolphins last summer, even though Martin preferred not to travel with the group.

Rather than go, Martin simply gave Incognito the $15,000, sources told ESPN, fearing the consequences if he did not hand over the money.

Incognito took to Twitter earlier Sunday, stating that he wants his “name cleared.” He called the reports “false speculation” and “slander” and said ESPN was hiding behind sources “who are not man enough to put their name behind the BS you report.”

@AdamSchefter Enough is enough If you or any of the agents you sound off for have a problem with me, you know where to find me #BRINGIT

— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 3, 2013

This is not the first time Incognito has been in trouble. In 2009 he got into a verbal altercation with then-Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo for multiple penalties in a game. Incognito was waived a few days later. Incognito also was suspended for the 2004 season in college at Nebraska due to off-field incidents.

Incognito was voted the second-dirtiest player in the NFL from a player poll in the Sporting News before the 2012 season. Houston Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith also swung a helmet at Incognito during an August preseason game, alleging foul play.

The Dolphins will return to the practice field on Monday, minus Incognito, to prepare for their “Monday Night Football” game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.

It is unknown if and when Martin plans to return to the team. The Dolphins have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to take him off the non-football related illness list.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter contributed to this report.

  • A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
  • Joined ESPN in 2008

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