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Dolphins hit rock bottom, keep digging


People hate lawyers until they need them.  And then when lawyers tell them what to do and they don’t want to do it, they hate the lawyers again.

In Miami, the Dolphins need a good lawyer — and they need to listen to him or her or them.

The public comments from players like receiver Brian Hartline and tackle Tyson Clabo show that the Dolphins either haven’t sought legal advice, or they haven’t implemented it.  Or, perhaps, that they’ve tried and the players decided to defy the instructions they received, in a Grambling-style revolt against management.

Here’s what should have happened.  Coach Joe Philbin should have called a meeting of all players, coaches, and football personnel, at which Philbin would have introduced Dolphins General Counsel Adam Zissman and Senior Director of Human Resources Yolando Valencia. (Owner Stephen Ross would have attended the meeting to demonstrate the importance of the issue.)

Zissman and Valencia then would have shared with the players the following message:  “NFL policy prohibits retaliation and will not tolerate any attempt at retaliation against any person, who, in good faith, makes or assists in making a complaint under our policies.”

Next, Zissman and Valencia would have explained what this means, via concrete examples of things they shouldn’t do or say in relation to tackle Jonathan Martin.  They specifically would have been told not to say anything suggesting any degree of anger or frustration with Martin, and they would have been told to never mention anything about the situation to Martin and to treat him no differently because of it.

Then, Philbin would have reiterated the bottom line — don’t say anything about Martin, don’t say anything to Martin, don’t say or do anything that would suggest any frustration with or resentment of Martin.

The worst situation for the Dolphins and Philbin would be if the Dolphins and Philbin did just that, and that the players have decided to ignore the instruction.

Regardless, Hartline and Clabo have proven that an environment of retaliation against Martin already exists.  Which makes it difficult if not impossible for Martin to ever return to the team.

Apart from the league’s investigation, the Dolphins need to assess the failure of the football operation, the business operation, or both to seek proper legal advice and to ensure that it gets implemented.

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58 Responses to “Dolphins hit rock bottom, keep digging”
  1. xpensivewinos says: Nov 6, 2013 8:13 PM

    Well, if laughter is the best medicine, Tony Sparano is going to live forever……

  2. eaglesnoles05 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:14 PM

    Trey Parker. Matt Stone. Episode. Go.

  3. petehemlock says: Nov 6, 2013 8:14 PM

    The circus has left NY.

  4. possumsauce says: Nov 6, 2013 8:14 PM

    Philbin was reportedly valedictorian at the Michael Brown School of Disaster Response.

  5. jonevans83 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:14 PM

    What? so basically, you are saying those who are witnesses for months along with video, pictures, and audio recordings of them being friends etc.. are wrong because you need to continue to push the bullying angle passed down through nbc? Logical. No wonder you aren’t a lawyer. Cog is being used as a scapegoat for them to recover money after walking out on the team. He’s easy to hate and you can paint it as a simple black and white picture… hence the false dichotomy.

  6. tedmurph says: Nov 6, 2013 8:15 PM

    Right, let’s all get together and get our story straight. Worked so well for the Saints. Always gonna be someone that mans up and tells the truth.

  7. blackhawks2010 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:16 PM

    Miami Trainwreck

  8. dt58 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:16 PM

    I’d be willing to bet that Martin has a lawyer already…this has money grab written all over it.

  9. upperdecker19 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:17 PM

    Are you billing Stephen Ross $1,000 per hour for this advice Mike?

    Although I run a nickel and dime small business and know this when conflict finds me.

  10. MCxShow says: Nov 6, 2013 8:17 PM

    Oh well, hindsight’s always 20/20 Florio.

    Besides, I think fans have already diverted their attention on the Dolphins to the Heat, since that team’s capable of bringing home another championship.

  11. hansenbrothers says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 PM

    Days of our (dolphins) lives

  12. wayne1693 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 PM

    If you listen to Ryan T.–whom most would trust to give an educated opinion on the matter–about the relationship he observed between Jonathan M. & Richie I., then yet another layer [I think this now makes 17…] of mystery and confusion surrounds this whole Goat-F***!

  13. sunnyd89 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 PM

    We all jumped to conclusions about this far too early.

    If it was simply a case of Incognito going rouge and crazy no one in that locker room would have even come remotely close to defending him.

    I think Martin may have been more in the wrong than any of us know.

    As much as Florio hates to hear that…

  14. beach305 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 PM

    As I have been saying from the start you don’t know the whole story and now it coming out.

    Martin was passing the voicemail around and laughing with it this year with teammates.

    Richie came to Martins defense when Martin got into a fight with Dion Jordan to weeks ago.

  15. realnflmaster says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 PM

    Circus. Joe Philbin leading with the clown car,

    Bow down to the JETS, fish.

  16. Dolphins Nation says: Nov 6, 2013 8:19 PM

    How about admitting to everyone we got the whole story wrong from the start. Martins lawyer parents used bullying as the excuse to cover up the stigmatism associated with mental illness, they did it to protect their son that had to check himself into a treatment facility. The fact is Martin and Incognito where close friends. Guy was upset about being replaced at LT a week earlier. Took it as failure.

  17. flavordave says: Nov 6, 2013 8:20 PM

    This is looking more and more like a “code red”
    And Ritchie is the dumb cadet saying he didnt do anything wrong and was just following orders.

  18. swaggyy says: Nov 6, 2013 8:21 PM

    Free weezy

  19. poortinga77 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:21 PM

    And what makes u the pro at what the Miami dolphins should do in this situation… Media has ruined pro football I miss the 80’s and 90’s when it was just a man’s sport

  20. mswravens says: Nov 6, 2013 8:22 PM

    Florid – I hope none of those lawyer-haters bash you, because that was extremely well said!

  21. paulnoga says: Nov 6, 2013 8:22 PM

    The NFL lockerroom is no different than the workplace. Bullying effects over 90% of people in the workforce every day. How many people have been bullied by their Supervisor every day.
    I say put an end to supervisor bullying around the world.

  22. djscottyb says: Nov 6, 2013 8:22 PM

    While all of this is great advice and a path the Dolphins should have chosen, Martin is going to have a tough time playing anywhere
    Perceived as soft, a snitch and just gave EVERY NFL player the blueprint on how to get under his skin and into his head.
    Can you imagine the trash talking he’s gonna face, regardless where he plays?

  23. raiderapologist says: Nov 6, 2013 8:22 PM

    People hate lawyers even when they do need them, not until.

  24. pflynn20 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:23 PM

    How does this Philbin not get at least a year suspension for this? If he’s obviously not fired. Total lack of institutional control.

  25. gonzolo4 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:23 PM

    When it rains, it pours.

  26. dolphindubs says: Nov 6, 2013 8:24 PM

    It’s a tough time to be a Dolphins fan right now. I don’t know what to think

  27. hurricanegrabowski says: Nov 6, 2013 8:26 PM

    I’m glad they didn’t, this is too freaking entertaining. I mean, if I was a Dolphins fan I wouldn’t be entertained, but fortunately I’m not.

  28. AParsons says: Nov 6, 2013 8:27 PM

    Apparently nobody knew anything. They are all starting to sound stupid. They all need to stop talking.

  29. drastrozoom says: Nov 6, 2013 8:28 PM

    The players said the team wanted them to keep quiet, but they wanted to defend themselves.

  30. funshipm174 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:33 PM

    Miami, Jaxksonville and Tampa Bay.

    What the heck is in the water in Florida this year!

  31. thefox61 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:40 PM

    Send in the clowns!

  32. bostoncollie says: Nov 6, 2013 8:40 PM

    Greg Schiano needs to send flowers to the Dolphins…his train wreck of a season was due to garner more negative attention on the upcoming Monday nighter vs. The Fins…instead the spotlight shines solely on the mess in Miami.

  33. matt14gg says: Nov 6, 2013 8:44 PM

    I don’t doubt anything the Dolphins players are saying. That’s the problem tho. This is a business and it needs to be run in a professional manner and that is the job of the front office and coaches. Part of that is insuring that the workplace is professional and free of harrassment. This is an institutional failure. The children (players who clearly don’t understand why this is a massive problem) were not being watched and guided by the adults (who should all know better than to have allowed this to get as far as it has). Philbin’s probably a nice guy and a capable coach, but we’re never really going to find out because his head coaching career is finished.

  34. bennyb82 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:44 PM

    Almost sounds like Martin wanted to walk away from football and needed a reason…

  35. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 6, 2013 8:50 PM

    As I said before the season started, the need a good General Manager, somebody like me. But they don’t have one.

  36. justsaynotodrunktweeting says: Nov 6, 2013 8:50 PM

    The circus had officially taken it’s talents to South Beach

  37. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 6, 2013 8:50 PM

    As I said before the season started, they need a good General Manager, somebody like me. But they don’t have one.

  38. ditkasgumspitinyourface says: Nov 6, 2013 8:56 PM

    You did not read about things like this in the era of Dick Butkus, and Mean Joe Greene.

  39. solidarityrules says: Nov 6, 2013 8:57 PM

    Forget lawyers. The Dolphins need players who can show leadership and help create a TEAM. They haven’t got one.

  40. briang123 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:58 PM

    It appears that you guys have taken a side on this without letting the facts come out.

  41. pirate472 says: Nov 6, 2013 9:00 PM

    Martin has his lawyers. His parents.

  42. yetimonster says: Nov 6, 2013 9:01 PM

    Why is it retaliation in the player comments? Maybe they are just surprised at the conflict, saying, “those guys were best friends.” It sounds more like surprise than retaliation.

  43. jpagan45 says: Nov 6, 2013 9:05 PM

    And this is part of the reason why the Patriots stay atop this division.

  44. seahawkgoat says: Nov 6, 2013 9:09 PM

    It’s the “in good faith” part that you seem to be getting froggy with, conclusions wise.

    Just WAIT for the facts.

  45. arwiv says: Nov 6, 2013 9:13 PM

    We only need lawyers because of the never-ending bunch of BS that lawyers created in the first place. I mean honestly, other than outright criminals, is there any group of persons on this planet held in lower regard than lawyers? Gee, I wonder why.

  46. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 9:14 PM

    Tannehill on welcoming EITHER player back:

    (again paraphrased) It’s tough. They both have their rights and wrongs. It’s out of my hands. If or when they come back… I’m big on forgive and forget so I’m sure we’ll work it out.

  47. bert1913 says: Nov 6, 2013 9:25 PM

    this all falls on Philbin. leaders lead, followers follow.

  48. securb2013 says: Nov 6, 2013 9:39 PM

    What an O line. Pouncey, Martin, Incognito, McKinnie – MNF they should introduce them with Warren Zevon’s – Lawyers, Guns and Money playing in the background.

  49. WACANHFL says: Nov 6, 2013 9:41 PM

    The 2013-14 season is starting to look more like a black hole for the whole NFL with the Hernandez situation in New England and now the potential racial/hazing/bullying problems in Miami, rampant PED use, DUI’s assaults, etc.. London better get ready…

  50. rockymtnphinfan says: Nov 6, 2013 9:47 PM

    Toughen up Jon Martin and stand up for yourself.

  51. meatsweat says: Nov 6, 2013 9:51 PM

    As a Patriot fan, I hate that you’re single handedly making me pull for the Dolphins in this case

  52. thehatefulnerd says: Nov 6, 2013 10:06 PM

    Get Ari Fleischer on the phone!

  53. bobby4413 says: Nov 6, 2013 10:13 PM

    Philbin Bro’s & Ireland & Ross Circus!!

  54. robgilman says: Nov 6, 2013 10:19 PM

    I just hope that Richie and Martin can go back to being friends after all this

  55. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Nov 6, 2013 10:48 PM

    Jonathan Martin’s NFL career might be over. But he will make a fortune as the new spokesperson for Cialis…….

  56. outtamojo says: Nov 7, 2013 3:21 AM

    Better call Saul!

  57. stillperfect says: Nov 7, 2013 6:44 AM

    If I see one more “Code Red”, I’m going to puke. Can someone give me a “Drew Brees wants an explanation”.

  58. routerunner says: Nov 7, 2013 8:17 AM

    We’re more of a basketball city anyway.

    –Miami “fans”

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