Regardless of whether agent Rick Smith told ESPN’s Mark Schwarz that Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin has issues with teammates other than Richie Incognito, it’s now clear that Martin does.
Martin’s lawyer, David Cornwell, has issued a statement detailing other evidence and allegations of harassment, extending the blame beyond Incognito.
“Jonathan Martin’s toughness is not at issue,” Cornwell said. “Jonathan has started every game with the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in 2012. At Stanford, he was the anchor for Jim Harbaugh’s ‘smash mouth’ brand of football and he protected Andrew Luck’s blind side.”
Cornwell then addressed the treatment Martin allegedly experienced.
“Jonathan endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing,” Cornwell said. “For the entire season-and-a-half that he was with the Dolphins, he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. Despite these efforts, the taunting continued. Beyond the well-publicized voice mail with its racial epithet, Jonathan endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate, and daily vulgar comments such as the quote at the bottom. These facts are not in dispute.”
No specific teammates were named in the statement. Cornwell claims in the statement that an unnamed teammate said this to Martin: “We are going to run train on your sister. . . . She loves me. I am going to f–k her without a condom and c** in her c***.”
“Eventually, Jonathan made a difficult choice,” Cornwell said. “Despite his love for football, Jonathan left the Dolphins. Jonathan looks forward to getting back to playing football. In the meantime, he will cooperate fully with the NFL investigation.”
Martin’s willingness to cooperate fully with the investigation conflicts with the idea that he’s planning a lawsuit and not return to the NFL. If that were the goal, he’d likely say nothing to the NFL because anything he says can and will be used against him later in the litigation.
While a lawsuit surely remains an option, Martin’s goal seems to be returning to the football field. It will be difficult for him to play for the Dolphins again, absent dramatic changes to the roster. But if the investigation vindicates Martin, he possibly would find a home with another team.
There’s a chance another team will acquire Martin before then. Even though the trading deadline has passed, the Dolphins could decide to release Martin, exposing him to waivers and, if not claimed, free agency.