Nobody should be surprised that the Miami Dolphins reportedly plan to trade offensive tackle Jonathan Martin this offseason.
It also would be no surprise if Richie Incognito never played for the Dolphins again.
Really, that's seems to be the only way this saga can play out. Even if you believe if Martin is the victim of constant harassment in the Dolphins' locker room, it would be uncomfortable and a major distraction if he returned next season. It would be an even bigger circus if Incognito returned to the Dolphins this season with the team in the playoff hunt.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reported that both men won't play again for the Dolphins. On Martin, who is on the non-football injury list and not eligible to return this season, Salguero reported he'll be traded:
"As for Martin, I'm reporting his days with the Dolphins are finished ... (t)heMiami locker room that was clearly on Incognito's side in this whole affair will not be a suitable place for Martin to make his return," Salguero wrote. "He'll be traded to the highest bidder at some point in the offseason."
Even if that's just an well-informed guess from Salguero, it's probably the ultimate outcome.
Salguero also said that he reported a month ago that Incognito would never play for the Dolphins again, and "(t)hat report stands. Incognito's days in Miami are over." Salguero said that even though Incognito's suspension is supposed to end next week, his suspension "will definitively not end next week." He believes Incognito and his representatives either have agreed to or will agree to extend the suspension through the rest of the season, and writes that the NFL and Dolphins don't want a situation where the team is forced into a roster move before the investigation into Martin and Incognito is finished. The Dolphins could cut Incognito, but Salguero says that would create a fresh batch of news on the relatively dormant issue, and "the NFL doesn't want that."
Very interesting. We'll see how the situation plays out next week.
The Dolphins have rallied since the controversy. They have won two in a row and at 7-6 are tied for the last playoff spot in the AFC playoffs with three games to go. As much as the Dolphins would like the Incognito situation to completely go away, the best they can do is keep it as quiet as possible for the rest of the season. Judging by Salguero's story, that's the plan.
The Dolphins will reevaluate in the offseason, and it appears both men will not be back with the team. But that will be a story for another day, when the Dolphins aren't fighting for a postseason berth.
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