The situation involving Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin continues to get more and more bizarre.
In the wake of the Dolphins issuing an “all is well” statement, it’s clear that all isn’t well. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Martin will be placed on the non-football illness list as soon as Tuesday. Per Rapoport, Martin doesn’t feel comfortable returning to the team “unless the situation changes drastically in the Dolphins locker room.”
So Martin hasn’t complained of bullying, but he thinks things need to change dramatically in order to return to the team?
If the problem for Martin flows not specifically from the Miami locker room but generally from the culture of the NFL locker room, changes would need to happen in every locker room before Martin could play again.
Then there’s the question of whether the NFLPA is or isn’t investigating the situation. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has called the situation a “major priority,” and subsequent reports indicated that an investigation was occurring. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN the probe initially focused on guard Richie Incognito.
Now, the NFLPA has said there’s no investigation, and Incognito has demanded via Twitter that his name be cleared.
To add even more confusion to an already confusing situation, Rapoport says that “the NFLPA has not launched an investigation” but the union is in “information gathering mode.”
How is that different than an investigation?
Our guess based on all the available facts and reports and circumstances is that Martin believes something happened beyond the confines of the normal and accepted behavior of an NFL locker room, but that Martin realizes it’s not in his interests to officially complain about bullying. Instead, Martin likely hopes that things will change without Martin causing specific problems for any of his teammates or for the organization.
Regardless of the truth, we’ve got a feeling that this specific story has plenty of remaining twists, turns, and contradictions.