Effort to resolve Martin situation could be coming


Setting aside (for now) the looming conflict between the Dolphins and guard Richie Incognito over Incognito’s suspension, there’s an existing conflict between the Dolphins and tackle Jonathan Martin.

Martin has left the team, he will have been paid for the last two games.  The team could try to put Martin on the non-football injury list and not pay him; that hasn’t happened yet.

But the question has become broader than whether Martin will be back in a few weeks or for the start of next season.  After Wednesday’s comments from multiple players in the locker room and Thursday’s statement from attorney David Cornwell (which was, as we’ve surmised, aimed at getting the players to shut up about Jonathan Martin), a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Martin’s current objective is to try to resolve the dispute.

Though Martin intends, based on Cornwell’s statement, to return to football, it’s unclear whether Martin wants to play for the Dolphins or, at this point, whether the Dolphins want him.  Team administration and/or the coaching staff may say “yes”; the locker room may say (or at least grumble) “no”.

As a result, resolving the situation could entail an agreement that Martin will be waived.  Complicating such an outcome would be the balance of Martin’s $1.919 million signing bonus.  Based on a four-year contract with seventeen paychecks per year, Martin has not yet earned $1.15 million of that amount.

On the surface, the easy solution would be to treat the cash as money spent and move on.  But the Dolphins would end up taking a cap hit if Martin is waived, and they’d be potentially setting a precedent for future players in Miami or elsewhere who decide they want out after they’ve received a signing bonus.

Considering the extent to which the Dolphins have aggressively (and, some would say, unreasonably) fought first-round picks on the question of whether their fully-guaranteed contracts will contain offset language, it’s safe to assume that the Dolphins will push hard to recover all or at least a lot of the bonus money.

If it comes as part of a broader settlement of any legal claims Martin can make, the Dolphins may be more inclined to walk away from money already spent.  Regardless, a week’s worth of back-and-forth claims and reports and statements could soon yield to silence between Martin and the Dolphins as an effort is made to work out that side of this multifaceted mess.

32 responses to “Effort to resolve Martin situation could be coming

  1. If they pay him and cut him and this all goes away tomorrow, then Ross and the Fins can’t do it soon enough!

  2. If the dolphins want to dare Martin to sue for 15 million, which doesn’t include attorney fees, than go after his signing bonus by all means. If Ireland isn’t fired soon, this will probably happen.

  3. Robert Conrad dares Miami to try to take money from Jonathan Martin.

    “I dare you”

    – Robert Conrad

  4. What a mess. My impression of GM Ireland is that he is lacking in dignity and not a fair handed negotiator.

    My impression of Coach Philbin is that he left Green Bay for an opportunity to be a head coach and start anew after tragically losing his son up there and he seems like a good man.

    Phins owner Ross, after bringing Philbin on board, and having a good season start of 3-0 decided to re-sign dirty-dog Ireland. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Philbin is being dictated to and is outnumbered by the Irelandites on the staff.

  5. One check solves this whole problem, the only question is what amount is to be written on it?

    Unless the Dolphins can convince the NFL to give them an exemption to offer him a pay raise, there’s not really anything else to discuss. The option to retain Martin as a sensible choice is becoming further and further disconnected with every passing moment.

  6. IsIi

    Is Martin a good player?

    ProFootballFocus, in their assessment of 2012 offensive lines, ranked Miami’s line 25th of 32 teams. They listed one “Stud” — Ritchie Incognito — and one “Dud” — Tyson Clabo. No mention was made of Martin.

    Two other NFL analysis sites ranked the Miami offensive line dead last in 2012. This isn’t a lot to go by, but it doesn’t suggest that Martin has made much of an impact in his brief career.

  7. This will end up in the courts if the Dolphins don’t release Martin if that’s what he wants. It is an employment law issue and the NFL doesn’t want to be involved in that form of litigation as it can open a can of worms. The Dolphins will do what the NFL wants them to do. End of story.

  8. Ireland was signed to a 1 year extension in the summer…NOT after the 3-0 start. That has nothing to do with this. If he is fired today it would cost them penny’s. Not a factor

  9. Never had anything but high regard for Philbin, but admittedly didn’t know much about him, either. The more he and his actions (or lack thereof) surface in this matter, the more he looks like a weeny’s weeny.

  10. Of course Martin’s current objective is to try to resolve the dispute. Either he (or his reps) finally realizes when all comes out unless its the words hurt members of the glee generation. Martin is gonna be looked at as soft, a quitter, and a rat (he will any way to most in the NFL). If everything was really bad as some make it out to be. Everyone else would be running to Cornwell to make a deal. I really doubt for instance Martin was subjected to a vicious physical beating (or whatever words Cornwell used)…..

  11. They should fine him daily for not being there. Refuses to report.

    Playtime is over Martin. Time for the team to stop worrying over a pr hit and treat him as anyone who abandons team

  12. Why don’t they just dig a big trench and let the state of Florida drift down among the other Banana Republics.

    From this scandal, to urban Meyer’s former players, to Hernandez’s college roots, I’m all Florida’out.

    There isn’t a decent NFL team in Florida.

    How about some press on some contenders…

  13. Martin gets a huge settlement, funded by the Dolphins and NFL liability insurers, and by Ross. He is released, and decides to head to law school i the fall of 2015. Incognito is suspended for this season, and is allowed to play in 2014, but nobody will sign him. The only reason that he is not banned is because the entire organization not only condoned it, they asked him to do it. He’s done. He gets a settlement, as well, despite being a poster boy for being a scumbag.

    Ireland, Philbin, the OC, the OL coach, and those in the front office who deal with employment are all fired, soon, and face lifetime NFL bans. the entire staff turns over.

    And then the NFL tries to fix this, and change a deep rooted culture. Not easy. And they do so while dealing with the MTBI {concussion} issue which is threatening not just the NFL, and NCAA football, but the very sport. That’s the real storm brewing.

    How are you going to play the sport if no one is willing to manufacture helmets in the future, due to the liability issues…….even though MTBI’s are not a helmet issue.

    This JM situation is going to disgust mothers everywhere, and that, combined with the fear of permanent brain injury, is going to pull thousands of little football players, and future fans, right off the field. Major League Lacrosse should grow like wildfire, and perhaps shift their calendar a bit……MLS as well.

    The NFL is a huge part of this country’s culture, and it’s in serious trouble. Goodell and crew are not going to screw around here, IMO.

    We’ll all remember Richie Incognito, BTW. Google the origin of the Italian last name Incognito…..classic.

  14. Is Martin a good player?

    ProFootballFocus, in their ranking of 2012 offensive lines, ranks Miami 25th of 32 teams. They single out one “Stud” — Ritchie Incognito — and one “Dud” — Tyson Clabo.

    Two other NFL analysis sites rate the 2012 Miami offensive line dead last in the league.

    This isn’t much to go by, but it suggests that Martin hasn’t made much of an impact in his brief NFL career.

  15. I’m glad there’s some movement towards a resolution, but… it still feels odd that the resolution is that the victim in this will end up losing his job. It’s probably for the best, but it still feels strange.

  16. The sooner we resolve this, the sooner we can get back to discussing important football issues, like the name of the football team based somewhere near the nations capital.

  17. Lost in all this, is that the Miami Dolphins are 4-4 with a game coming up against the win less Bucs. This team could be right in the mix for a playoff spot, but who cares. You guys would rather talk about TMZ stuff. Just pay this half man his signing bonus and move on.

  18. Nobody is a bigger bully in today’s society than a man with a law degree. Looks to me like Johnny Martin is trying to bully his way out of his contract while keeping his pay. So far he’s got one casualty and he’s threatening to take more. We all know the only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him, so find yourself the best lawyer that money can buy Mr. Ross and lets see if Johnny litigates better than he blocks.

  19. sweetshadow13 says:

    Lost in all this, is that the Miami Dolphins are 4-4 with a game coming up against the win less Bucs. This team could be right in the mix for a playoff spot, but who cares. You guys would rather talk about TMZ stuff.

    Awww poor little Fins fan doesn’t like the negative attention. Newsflash for ya, the “TMZ stuff” from various teams has overridden almost everything else about this season. Why should Miami be exempt from the attention ?

    Secondly, with the remnants of an already wretchedly bad Oline before Incognito and Martin were gone, you really think you’re going to get to the playoffs ? Or that the Fins wouldn’t be immediately buried by any other playoff team if they did ?

    Nice fantasy but the Bucs could easily get their first win this week. And even if they don’t Tannehill will get pounded with 5-8 sacks per game plus numerous hits for the rest of the season. His odds of making it through uninjured are pretty low unless Miami magically comes up with some new Oline players that are actually good.

  20. At some point, all of you are going to have to FINALLY realize that this was ALL ABOUT MONEY.

    The team wanted to take away the money after he wanted to quit, so the harassment/bullying crap was used as a scapegoat to get them to release the stranglehold on the cash.

    This has all really bothered me as a Dolphins fan, but I feel like my team got completely abused by the national media and their poor coverage of a blip that got turned into a blob, by them.

  21. @harrisonhits2

    The Dolphins play in a weak division with no real dominant team. At 4-4 even with their OL problems they can still win that division.

    Talk to me in 8 weeks.

  22. When Martin played poorly and lost the job to McKinnie, he lost tens of millions in future left tackle contract money. That’s the bottom line. Everything else, including the Incognito allegations that he could have raised at any point before he lost his job, is just posturing and lawyering in an attempt to recover some of those tens of millions of lost future income.

  23. Oh, so now Martin’s objective is to resolve the dispute. That is complete garbage. He is ruining everything the Dolphins have built. Coaches could get fired, Ireland could get fired, the NFL could take draft picks away, etc. Martin handled this as poorly as possible. He could have kept it in house rather than walk out over a minor prank, but he didn’t. Instead he created this mess by going to the league and blaming others for his problems. Bullying is a hot topic today so people are naturally are going to side with Martin. The voicemail was a joke as Jonathan Martin was parading around the locker room with it, Jonathan Martin voted Incognito in as a team leader, the $15,000 that Jonathan Martin paid for was for his vacation that he opted out of it. There is so much here that you can pin on Martin and so many people are just avoiding it. It’s ridiculous. But now Martin wants the situation solved? Good luck. I truly hope he never plays another down in the NFL.

  24. Anyone else think it’s odd that all this is happening right after Martin was demoted and moved back to the right tackle position. I wonder if being “demoted” had anything to do with the timing. Maybe he was just unhappy being replaced by a LT that Miami was able to get pennies because nobody else wanted him had anything to do with this situation. Maybe this is a big snub from Martin for being “demoted”. Just saying.

  25. The Dolphins should make a determination regarding their contract with Martin and release him outright if it can be done. There is no sugarcoating this, that locker room is shattered and his return will be a further detriment to the team.

    If he were to come back to the team, the Dolphins should stipulate he do so now. The players should be given instructions as to how they should interact with him. Not trying to be mean, but short of shunning the man, any communication with him should be kept short and simple, and all purely business.

    Talking with Martin means no family discussion, no how are you, etc. Good mooring, hello, infield play stuff. Beware anything can be misconstrued and they should have a reasonable expectation that anything the players say will be reported by Martin to his attorney who know how to wordsmith menuscha into gold. It’s how I see it.

    At the end of the season, Martin should be traded or cut from the team, and the entire staff should be let go starting with the GM. Hopefully Ross will sell the team because he has proven to be a lousy long distance owner from his ivory tower on 5th Avenue NYC.

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