We haven’t heard much from Dolphins guard Richie Incognito since the team suspended him five days ago. On Friday night, we heard from an unnamed source regarding Incognito’s mindset.
According to James Walker of ESPN.com, Incognito feels “shocked” and “betrayed” by Jonathan Martin’s claims of harassment.
“It’s probably a combination of totally blindsided and a bit betrayed,” the source told Walker regarding Incognito. “He’s shocked. He can’t believe this happened and thinks it probably could have been avoided.”
Incognito reportedly believed he was a “tough-love older brother” to Martin, giving the player a hard time but also protecting him.
Before Incognito was suspended, he lashed out on Twitter at reports that he was the target of Martin’s claims, with Incognito demanding that his name be cleared. By Sunday night, his name was cleared from the Dolphins’ active roster.
If accurate, the account of Incognito’s mindset suggests that his defense to the suspension, if/when he files a grievance, will consist of an attack on the legitimacy of Martin’s claims. Incognito also could claim that anything he did with respect to Martin happened at the direction and/or with the knowledge of the coaching staff.
While that approach could put Incognito at odds with his coaches, the stakes could compel a kitchen-sink defense; the suspension will cost Incognito more than $235,000 per week.