Survey: Players don’t want Incognito

Updated: November 8, 2013, 2:05 PM ET


By
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com


Recently suspended Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito does not have the support from NFL peers that he has received from teammates.

Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the team in a bullying scandal that has swept over the league and saw Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin leave the team, has received public support from many of his teammates in recent days, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

But in an unscientific survey conducted by team reporters for ESPN.com’s NFL Nation over two days this week, Incognito does not have the same level of support from some of his peers. Three players participated from each team surveyed, with 72 players in all asked three questions. The players taking part were granted anonymity.

To the question of which player, Martin or Incognito, would they rather have as a teammate, 15 of the players who responded (20.8 percent) said they would rather have Incognito as a teammate, while 34 (47.2 percent) said they would rather have Martin as a teammate.

However, 23 of those who responded, or 31.9 percent, said they would want neither as a teammate. In all, the results showed that 57 of those who answered (79.2 percent) would not want Incognito as a teammate.

The players were also asked, in true-or-false form, whether they had ever been victims of hazing during their NFL careers. Thirty-one of the players (43.1 percent) answered true, while 41 (56.9 percent) answered false.

In the third question, players were asked if they ever had to provide money as part of a hazing incident. To that, 28 players (38.9 percent) answered true, while 44 players (61.1 percent) answered false.

Those who answered true to the third question were also asked to provide the highest dollar amount they were asked to provide as part of the hazing incident. A wide range of answers were given.

Some of the answers included $40 for donuts, $100 for Chick-Fil-A and $2,500 and $5,000 for team dinners. In addition, six of the players surveyed said they spent $8,000, $9,000, $10,000 (two players), $12,000 and $18,000. Those six players did not identify how the money was used.

The NFL is investigating what happened between Incognito and Martin, with noted attorney Ted Wells appointed by the league to conduct the investigation. Wells will prepare a report for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials, and the report will be made public upon its completion. 

Incognito, a nine-year veteran, was suspended by the Dolphins on Sunday for “conduct detrimental to the team,” amid accusations that he bullied and used racially charged terms against Martin, who left the team last week. Martin, a second-year tackle from Stanford, is with his family in California and has undergone counseling for emotional issues.

During a week when coaches of several teams were addressing the Dolphins’ situation, Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio was asked whether he spoke of the incident with Denver players.

“I did address it with the team,” Del Rio said. “And I told them hopefully they feel confident if anything was ever going on they would pick one of the channels internally here, whether it be a coach, position coach, head coach, coordinator, anybody in coaching … somebody else in the building, another player, doesn’t have to be a captain or a leader.

“If something’s going on, let us help you. We like to talk about being family, and we like to think we would be helpful to a person struggling in a particular situation.”

  • Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
  • Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
  • Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
    of Selectors since 1999

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