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Dolphins, NFL looking into misconduct in Martin matter

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Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin might not return to the team.

The Dolphins issued a statement Sunday afternoon confirming league and team probes into allegations of misconduct that led to Martin walking out of the team facility this week.

"We received notification today from Jonathan's representation about allegations of player misconduct," the statement read. "We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further. 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."

ESPN reported earlier Sunday that Martin, who left the Dolphins last week amid reports of bullying from teammates, specifically fears retribution from guard Richie Incognito.

The Dolphins are expected to place Martin on the non-football injury list as soon as Tuesday, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Martin was intimidated by Incognito into paying $15,000 toward a trip to Las Vegas. Martin did not go on the trip but still surrendered the money.

The report also indicated that text messages and at least one voice message between the two players show harassment and justify Martin's fears for retribution. Martin's recent comments to Incognito explaining that he does not blame his teammates for harassment also reportedly demonstrate concerns that he will face retaliation if he accuses Incognito of bullying.

Details remain murky about Martin's status with the team. The Dolphins issued a statement Sunday saying coach Joe Philbin and teammates have been in contact with Martin, while reports continue to emerge about players who may have been involved in the bullying that prompted Martin to leave the team.

"The Miami Dolphins, including Coach Joe Philbin and Jonathan's teammates, have been in communication with Jonathan and his family since his departure from the club and continue to be in contact," the team statement read. "Our primary concern for Jonathan is his overall health and well-being.

"As an organization, we take any accusations of player misconduct seriously. The notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us as a concern from Jonathan or anyone else internally. The reports that the NFLPA is investigating our players are inaccurate. Additionally, the NFL offered its assistance during this time, which we appreciated and gladly accepted. We will continue to make Jonathan's health and well-being a focus as we do with all of our players."

While the Dolphins claim the NFL Players Association is not investigating the situation, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has called it a "major priority," and Schefter reported the investigation initially focused on Incognito. Rapoport reported that while no official investigation has been launched, the NFLPA is gathering its own information.

Incognito took to Twitter on Sunday, writing "I want my name CLEARED." He took direct aim at Schefter, writing: "Stop slandering my name. You hide behind "sources" who are not man enough to put their name behind the BS you report."

Martin left the Dolphins on Monday, reportedly after an incident in which players jokingly refused to sit with him in the team's cafeteria.

Incognito told that he heard back from Martin on Friday after he reached out to him to see how he was doing.

"Yeah, I'm good man," Martin wrote during their conversation that lasted 19 text messages. "It's insane bro, but just know I don't blame you guys at all. It's just the culture around football, and the locker room got to me a little."

Martin's representatives would not comment to about the situation. But ESPN's report indicates that Martin's response to Incognito was out of fear of retribution.

One high-ranking Dolphins official who did not want to be identified told ESPN that Incognito has been a "model citizen" and is puzzled by the allegations of Incognito's involvement.

However, other sources told ESPN that Incognito has been involved in the alleged harassment of Martin going back to 2012. One of the sources said the emotional issues Martin has relate directly to the harassment.

The players union said it is thoroughly investigating the team's workplace environment and players allegedly involved, including Martin and Incognito. NFLPA attorneys have already gathered details that identify Incognito prominently as one of the offenders, a source told ESPN.

"I'm aware of this report, and I can say without question that we emphasize a culture of team first, accountability and respect for one another," Philbin said on Friday. "Any behavior that deviates from that is inconsistent with the values of our organization.

"This is something that we take very seriously. It will not be tolerated."

Philbin would not say if any players involved in the cafeteria incident will be disciplined.
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