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Dolphins want Martin back, unless they don’t

Jonathan Martin AP

As the dust settles on the Ted Wells report, the question becomes whether tackle Jonathan Martin will play again in the NFL — and if so for whom?

Before Martin can play for anyone other than the Dolphins, the Dolphins have to trade him or waive him.  And while owner Stephen Ross has said that he doesn’t expect either Martin or guard Richie Incognito to return to the team in 2014, the Dolphins have a much better chance of getting trade value for Martin if other teams believe that the Dolphins keeping Martin is a viable alternative.

For that reason, the Dolphins previously had begun to leak the idea that Martin could return.  Now, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that, during a meeting at the Scouting Combine with Martin’s agents, the Dolphins expressed an interest in having Martin return.  Martin’s camp reportedly declined.

La Canfora adds that, during the meeting, coach Joe Philbin blamed Martin’s agents for causing the controversy to reach the boiling point it has occupied, on multiple occasions.

Agent Rick Smith has sharply disputed La Canfora’s report.  “We have no idea where you got your information, but you weren’t even close,” Smith told La Canfora.   “We’d appreciate it if everyone backed off and allowed the process to happen organically.”

Our take?  Martin doesn’t want to return to the Dolphins and the Dolphins don’t really want him back, but the Dolphins want to have a fair chance to try to trade Martin by creating the impression that the Dolphins want Martin back.

Even if they don’t.

Moving forward, the Dolphins will try to find a trade partner, they’ll hold Martin’s rights possibly through the draft in the hopes of finagling a low-round draft pick, and then they’ll waive him if they can’t persuade someone to give up, for example, a conditional seventh-round pick that officially would be announced as “undisclosed.”

The best hope for the Dolphins would be to get two teams interested in Martin, which would make the question of whether the Dolphins want to keep Martin irrelevant.  The team that sits lower on the waiver priority list than the other team would then have to decide whether to offer, for example, a conditional seventh-round pick that officially would be announced as “undisclosed.”

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50 Responses to “Dolphins want Martin back, unless they don’t”
  1. chad504boy says: Feb 25, 2014 2:18 PM

    Dear Agent Rick Smith,

    Why couldn’t you let your client handle his issues “organically” in the locker room like everyone else for the past 45 years.

  2. bucrightoff says: Feb 25, 2014 2:19 PM

    Guy is immature, unreliable and frankly a bit of a baby. Cannot imagine too many NFLers actually want him on their team. We’re not talking an elite player here, we’re talking about a guy who got benched for someone the Dolphins trade for like 2 days earlier.

    A lot of hassle and potential trouble for a guy who, at present, looks like a backup.

  3. jjb0811 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:21 PM

    If this is the deepest draft in years, then Miami ought to trade him for picks this year not next year.

  4. wfederal says: Feb 25, 2014 2:22 PM

    The next 49er… Crybaby lineman to match with a crybaby QB and a crybaby coach

  5. chinahand11 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:22 PM

    You have to be kidding. No way that guy goes back to the Fins.

  6. bitw44 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:22 PM

    The issue with his trade value is this: Before the whole fiasco he was not a good player.

  7. jimmyt says: Feb 25, 2014 2:23 PM

    No. One. Wants. Him.

  8. FinFan68 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:26 PM

    Even if Philbin didn’t actually say that (he deserves some respect if he did), it is completely accurate. Philbin didn’t want him to begin with and after his rookie season, Philbin wanted somebody else. This may be a leverage game. Martin wants out but there is the signing bonus to deal with. The Dolphins may be trying to get some of that back if Martin wants to go. He would be miserable if they kept him. They could theoretically keep him and never play him for 2 years. I’m sure he does not want that.

  9. stealthscorpio says: Feb 25, 2014 2:28 PM

    The larger reasons are probably more legal and financial than the issue of trading him. If they keep him and he shows up, the financial damages are zero. If they cut him, he could sue for the full value of his contract. He and his agents appears to be saying no and wants a settlement for the full value of his contract. Miami is delusional if they think they won’t have to pay him and if they think they can trade him.

  10. broncobrewer says: Feb 25, 2014 2:28 PM

    The dolphins traded for his replacement prior to all this stuff coming out no one wants him for that reason. Forget the fact that once he lines up d linemen are going to eat him alive.

  11. xpensivewinos says: Feb 25, 2014 2:32 PM

    When you’re completely incompetent like Joe Philbin is and in so far over your head like Joe Philbin is, it makes perfect sense that he would look to put the blame on someone else.

    Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of the NFL. Gee Joe, maybe it’s you.

    If your girlfriend writes it down on a card for you, maybe then you’ll believe it.

  12. drsportsjock says: Feb 25, 2014 2:32 PM

    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. That’s a quote by Brohandas Gandhi, pretty pertinent to this sitch, IMHO

  13. bullpuppy552 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:34 PM

    The guy is not cut out for the NFL. It’s a wonder he doesn’t break down and cry if opposing fans yell at him or an opponent talks trash to him.

  14. starchybunker says: Feb 25, 2014 2:41 PM

    It would be one thing if he was blue chip…but he was struggling and looking like a bust before all this went down…can’t see even a team that suddenly needs a tackle (Panthers) getting excited about acquiring such a distraction with mediocre talent…

  15. chawk12thman says: Feb 25, 2014 2:41 PM

    Martin is under contract. Either he shows up or his contract is not paid. My guess is that he will be forced to return. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t get credit for the year he can’t get out of the contract with Miami. He really has no standing or leverage to do anything else.

    He needs to return to Miami and force them to either cut him or find a trade. If he doesn’t, he plays into their hands and does not get any benefit. Miami isn’t going to want the roster spot taken up with a distraction, so this really seems to be his only option.

    Until March 11th they can’t trade him, so until then there will be no movement. However, Martin is likely not going to be a highly sought player by any team. Again, his leverage in this is low.

    Tough situation by all.

  16. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 25, 2014 2:43 PM

    They should target some specific player that might have an internal issue with his own team and call it a swap of changing sceneries. Maybe they can trade him for a PTBNL, that would be much more exciting with the anticipation hanging in the balance.

  17. tavisteelersfan says: Feb 25, 2014 2:43 PM

    Here is a scenario … Ross finally gets the coach he wants, Harbaugh and Martin stays with the FINs. What in this picture is difficult to imagine … you think Ross wouldn’t go around Philbin’s back and talk to Harbaugh?

  18. craniator says: Feb 25, 2014 2:44 PM

    I’m with Bullpuppy ; this guy doesn’t belong in the NFL . . . he’s inflicted a lot of damage on the Dolphin brand , and worse still , because of the state of our society today in general (it’s always someone else’s fault) , has taken virtually no heat whatsoever for it.

  19. iammrbinky says: Feb 25, 2014 2:45 PM

    How he handled the locker room aside, he isn’t very good on the field. He came into the league lacking physical strength and over the 2 seasons he was in Miami, showed little improvement.

    Yet another quality 2nd rounder courtesy of Jeff Ireland.

  20. shakespeare22 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:55 PM

    Quitters never win.

  21. deflateddome says: Feb 25, 2014 2:56 PM

    He will be around, whether we like it or not. The new N word violation will be called the Martin Rule.

    Defense #25 …15 yard penalty for violation of the Martin Rule

  22. clarencewhorley says: Feb 25, 2014 2:59 PM

    Martin talked numerous times about suicide. He is mentally unstable and no team (including the Dolphins) should want him around their team until he has undergone serious mental therapy.

    What if he plays poorly in 2014, is benched again and hurts himself or worse?

    When bringing a player into a team the organization has to consider how the player effects the team both on and off the field. If he continues to have mental issues, and hurts himself or others how will that effect the team’s chance of winning in 2014.

    I don’t think Martin is a good NFL player to begin with but even if he were an All-Pro how can you let a player on your team who has admitted he is suicidal unless he is in daily psychotherapy.

  23. guachosporlife says: Feb 25, 2014 3:00 PM

    He’d be perfect for Little Giants–but maybe Spike will make him cry.

  24. theclink12 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:04 PM

    “The next 49er…Crybaby lineman to match with a crybaby QB and a crybaby coach”

    OMG so funny but yet SO true!

  25. dalcow4 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:09 PM

    He will likely never play in the NFL again. He is soft, has emotional difficulties, and is likely to embroil his next team in a big mess. Which team would want to take that risk?

    Too bad, because he could be a pretty good player.

  26. briang123 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:13 PM

    The only difference between Martin and those phonies and lazy bums who apply for Social Security disability is the amount of money at stake. Despite the media’s best efforts, he has been exposed as a guy that can’t play, doesn’t want to play, but naturally doesn’t want to give up the paycheck. I guarantee you NFL lockers will accept Michael Sam long before this guy.

  27. afcdomination says: Feb 25, 2014 3:20 PM

    doesn’t matter what your opinion is on this subject, it is very clear to all that these people need to move on. to do that, Martin cannot return to the Dolphins much like Jim Turner couldn’t return to the Dolphins.

    the best thing for martin would be to somehow make it to San Fran, where Harbaugh who had experience with him, can at least for one year help him get back into it

  28. phillycannon says: Feb 25, 2014 3:22 PM

    you people are very sad on here. pft allow you fools to be tough tony’s behind a pc. Have any of you idiots ever thought if a person is talking about suicide and other nonsense, as a friend, teammate, family…etc, you would try to help him?

    But nope not you dopes….you just want to talk about how soft or immature a 25 year old is. Yes 25. Most of you saps on here are way over 35 and immature yourself, who dont know a lick about football or discrimination.

  29. irkjames says: Feb 25, 2014 3:26 PM

    No one will want Jonathan Martin on their team.

    If he spent half as much time worrying about his production on the field, and not on thinning his eyebrows, this entire “bullying” BS mess could have been avoided.

    I’m laughing at anyone who honestly believes this chump has any trade value. He got benched for a guy who the Dolphins had just traded for 2 days prior: HE’S GARBAGE!

  30. jbaxt says: Feb 25, 2014 3:35 PM

    I’m sure teams are lined up to get the 60th best tackle in the league.

  31. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Feb 25, 2014 3:35 PM

    Seems to me he put up with a awful lot for a long time with no support from team or staff before figuring out he wanted no part of this..TEAM..s ounds more mentally tough than most..

  32. flss1616 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:39 PM

    C’mon Irsay! Make a deal! lol

  33. rcali says: Feb 25, 2014 3:47 PM

    Yeah, companies generally don’t want whistle blowers around. For those of you who have big boy jobs, you know that’s reality.

  34. deadeye says: Feb 25, 2014 3:54 PM

    I can’t decide if Martin is a worse pick that Pat White. And then there’s Patrick Turner and John Jerry.

    Man Ireland really picked some winners didn’t he?

  35. slim1337 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:54 PM

    DROP HIM LIKE A BAD HABIT and never look back.

  36. xinellum says: Feb 25, 2014 3:56 PM

    Unfortunately his value is low due to his productivity and skills. He lost his left tackle position to McKinnie and replaced Clabo at right tackle and then stopped showing up. As much a victim as he is and I don’t question that, I do question his choice of when he left, right after he lost his prized left tackle position not before when he was being harassed all year. That brings questions to my mind about him quitting before he ever left the team. I think based on his skillset, he may get picked up but I don’t see him starting in the NFL anymore.

  37. r8rsfan says: Feb 25, 2014 4:50 PM

    This guy’s playing the victim card for all it’s worth. The only problem with that – can’t think of any sports team at any level that wants victims on the roster. This game is not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of mind/body/spirit.

  38. drudema says: Feb 25, 2014 4:56 PM

    I want to state that first I am a dolphin fan who has been sickened over the last 14 years as I have watched this franchise rocket to the bottom of the sports heap. Terrible drafting, coaches, free agents, general managers and now even the ownership have bankrupted any faith that I’ve had in this organization for some time. That being said, why would anyone want to a part of this organization if they had a chance to go somewhere else? Miami is a great place to live and the weather is amazing, but a pro football player can off season anywhere they want.
    That being said a player only has one career. Given the opportunity to escape a dissfunctional mess of an organization and maybe move onto a team that would give you a greater sense of satisfaction why wouldn’t you take it? Unless the money is so great that it’s worth giving up career goals for personal gain. Martin’s contract doesn’t put him in that category.
    We know the ownership is terrible. A billionaire republican who pitched a fit when the public wouldn’t bail him out with stadium improvements. Horrible coaching – when you only need to win 1 or your last 2 games to make the playoffs against weak divisional opponents and you get schooled. Not to mention what a POS his position coach turned out to be. His quarterback is suspect in not only talent but intelligence. Go back and watch Hard Knocks. Tannehill couldn’t even name the other 3 teams in the dolphins division. WHAT? Go back and watch the look on Matt Moore’s face. He also just said that he didn’t read the Wells report because it “was to long”. WHAT? You want to be the leader of this team and you can’t learn your division rivals or take the time to learn the details of the greatest scandal to ever hit your organization. Not to mention his wife left an assault rifle in a rental car.
    This is such a terrible organization now that people didn’t even want to be considered for the vacant GM position.
    I can’t imagine anyone who has an opportunity to pick up their cleats and take them to anyone else (except the Browns they really are awful -or the Jets always have to hate the Jets). I mean why would anyone want to play their if not for the money. After this many years they have solidified a solid reputation not just as a losing organization but also as a terrible run one. As a fan I’ve thrown in the towel on this team. I consider myself a nomad fan now. Just a fan of the sport. Just wanting to see a good game. At least I’m not one of the suckers paying money to sit in the stands of Joe Robbie Stadium. That is something I’ll never do again.

  39. vaphinfan says: Feb 25, 2014 5:17 PM

    If this guy does return to the phins i’d have a hard time cheering for them.

  40. igotgamenj says: Feb 25, 2014 6:07 PM

    Quitters never win Winners never Quit

  41. floriosbigtoe says: Feb 25, 2014 8:21 PM

    It’s what I’ve been saying all along. The Dolphins should force Martin’s hand and tell him he’s welcome back to the team. He told Tony Dungy he as absolutely positive he is ready to play football once again so what’s the problem? The problem is he doesn’t want to play for Miami. So why shouldn’t he have to pay back the money he took from them?

  42. georgeexley says: Feb 25, 2014 8:41 PM

    He doesn’t want to play for Miami period.
    ( Research what his mother does for a living ).
    I hope Miami holds there ground and keeps him out of football until they receive at least the second round pic they spent on him.

  43. ghengy says: Feb 25, 2014 9:19 PM

    Send him to Canada. I doubt anybody will play with this guy.

  44. Ed Bandell says: Feb 25, 2014 9:36 PM

    With such a wonderful reply from Martin’s agent, I can’t see anything to the claim that Philbun is making that Martin’s agent was making things difficult.

  45. apkyletexas says: Feb 25, 2014 9:45 PM

    I don’t think my Steelers had three healthy linemen at the end of the season, but I’d rather stick with seven injured guys than give Martin a chance.

  46. firedup1 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:17 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  47. cantonbound13 says: Feb 26, 2014 8:57 AM

    Besides being a wuss, he sucks at tackle.

  48. sailbum7 says: Feb 26, 2014 10:20 AM

    Martin is under contract to Miami. If he does not show up in camp he will be in breach of his contract and play right into the Dolphins hands. Martin needs to show up to keep his contract in force, it is about the only leverage he has at this point. The Dolphins must realize at this point that they will be paying Martin some damages over this whole fiasco, the only thing yet to be determined is how much. I think that depends largely on whether or not Martin returns to the team as well as any trade that gets worked out.

    I do not see too many teams being interested in trading to get Martin, he just is not that good of a player. Even if he returns to the Dolphins, the odds on him actually suiting up in a Dolphins uniform at the start of the season is extremely slim. If the Dolphins can not trade him they will likely put him on waivers before the season starts.

  49. keeroc15 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:30 AM

    Martin will never play another snap in the NFL. Trade value ? bwahahahaha. He may catch on in the lingerie league.

  50. dolfan72 says: Feb 28, 2014 8:00 AM

    I don’t want Stephen LOSS back as owner! SELL THE TEAM! I want the new owner to FIRE JOE PHILBIN!

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