James Walker | ESPN.com
Incognito is suspended indefinitely after Martin left the team and claimed he was harassed and bullied by Incognito. The NFL also is conducting a full investigation.
But at least one veteran in Miami’s locker room — starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie — feels the story has become bigger than necessary.
“Things could probably have been a little exaggerated with that whole situation,” McKinnie said candidly on Wednesday. “You heard one side of the story and now you’re starting to hear the other side. So give it time before you make a decision on who’s right or who’s wrong and let it go from there.”
When asked if other Dolphins players agree with McKinnie’s point of view, he responded, “They might. I can’t speak for everybody.”
McKinnie was among the many veterans in Miami’s locker room who came to the support of Incognito last week. There hasn’t been the same sentiment for Martin, who left the team on Oct. 28 and hasn’t returned. The national media attention and scrutiny has caused a huge distraction for Miami, which has lost five of its past six games.
McKinnie, who said he wasn’t upset at Martin, believed Martin could have handled the situation differently.
“If he had some emotional issues, he should’ve took that up with somebody upstairs and maybe we wouldn’t have this situation right now,” McKinnie said. “It could have been a more professional way to handle it instead of walking out on your team, because that’s what you did at the end of the day.”
McKinnie played on three teams throughout his 12-year career and won a Super Bowl title last season with the Baltimore Ravens. McKinnie only joined the Dolphins three weeks ago following a trade with the Ravens. However, McKinnie was not afraid to offer plenty of strong views on the Incognito-Martin saga.
“You have to remember this is an NFL locker room at the end of the day. Guys are going to joke around. This is an aggressive environment,” McKinnie said. “You’re going to joke around and play and say things. But you’re not being serious. This is just an aggressive environment. You say things. You joke. All locker rooms are very similar.
“If you was in Baltimore with me and Ray Rice, or to listen to him Vonta Leach talk to each other, the way they talk to each other, that could have easily been this situation. Somebody could have just got fed up and did the same thing. It’s not that serious. You know what I mean?”
Martin will meet with NFL on Friday to discuss his issues with Miami, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Dolphins (4-5) will host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
- A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
- Joined ESPN in 2008