Dolphins coach Tony Sparano says the recent arrest of defensive end Phillip Merling is a matter for the league office — not the team — to handle.
“That’s a situation right now that we’re dealing with closely with the league with, trying to gather facts, trying to gather information, but it really is a league situation right now, the league is handling this,” Sparano said Friday, per the Palm Beach Post. “We’re going to let the process play itself out right now and see what the league decides down the road.”
Sparano also tried to punt on the Merling case by saying, “I’m not a judge”
Of course, NFL coaches act as judges of players’ off-field conduct all the time. But Sparano sounds inclined to back Merling, perhaps inspired in part by the fact that he and Merling share an agent, Jimmy Sexton, who also represents Dolphins front office boss Bill Parcells.
Parcells said when he got the job in Miami that he didn’t want “thugs and hoodlums” on the team. If that’s the case, he can’t be happy with the Dolphins’ four arrests in the last four months. That includes Merling’s felony domestic battery charge,
Tony McDaniel’s misdemeanor battery arrest, Ronnie Brown’s DUI and Will Allen’s DUI.
Sparano called the arrests “frustrating.”