Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito has filed a non-football injury grievance against the club, challenging his status as indefinitely suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, according to sources.
Under Article 42 of the collective bargaining agreement, the maximum a player can be suspended by a team for detrimental conduct is four weeks plus an additional game check. In this case, that would amount to $1,276,470.59.
The Dolphins have not defined the length of the suspension, which was announced in the late evening on Nov. 3 following allegations of harassment and misconduct toward teammate Jonathan Martin.
Under the labor agreement, all non-football injury grievances must be heard by a neutral arbitrator. Incognito has requested an expedited hearing.
Incognito deflected blame for many of his harsh actions against Martin during an interview with Fox Sports on Sunday. He also accused Martin of using equally crass language, claiming that was the nature of their relationship.
Incognito staunchly denied bullying Martin and claimed to be Martin’s most supportive teammate. Incognito said he was genuinely surprised Martin left the team and that it became a national media firestorm.
“You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room who had Jon Martin’s back the absolute most, and they will undoubtedly tell you [it was me],” Incognito told Fox Sports. “Jon never showed signs that football was getting to him [or] the locker room was getting to him.”
Martin left the Dolphins on Oct. 28 following an incident in the team’s lunchroom. However, Incognito said Sunday that he and Martin exchanged text messages four days later.
Incognito’s phone showed 1,142 text messages between the two players over the past year, Fox Sports reported.
Martin’s attorney, David Cornwell, has said Martin was repeatedly harassed by Incognito and others in ways that “went far beyond the traditional locker-room hazing.”
Martin is scheduled to meet with Ted Wells, the independent investigator assigned by the NFL, on Friday in New York. Dolphins officials had been scheduled to meet with Martin on Wednesday but delayed the meeting at the NFL’s request.
ESPN.com Dolphins reporter James Walker and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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