With the Dolphins just three days away from having to make a decision to release Richie Incognito or reinstate him from suspension, it appears that Incognito will make things easy on the team by agreeing to a third option: Keep the suspension going, with pay.
Jeff Darlington of NFL Network reports that Incognito and the Dolphins have agreed that Incognito will remain away from the team, but will get paid, while investigator Ted Wells continues examining the Dolphins’ locker room culture. The Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely on November 3 after Jonathan Martin walked away from the team, allegedly because Incognito was harassing him. But under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams really aren’t permitted to suspend a player “indefinitely.” The maximum length of a suspension a team can impose on a player is four games, and four games will be up on Sunday.
But Incognito and the Dolphins have reached this compromise with the agreement of both the league office and the NFL Players Association, according to Darlington. That buys time for the Dolphins to decide what to do with Incognito, and it allows Incognito to start getting paid again.
Wells, who was appointed by the league office to examine the matter, has said he expects to take a few more weeks to investigate. It remains to be seen whether Incognito has any future with the Dolphins — and whether he faces discipline from the league — once Wells’s investigation is complete.