Richie Incognito, who has been suspended from the Miami Dolphins indefinitely since the beginning of November for his part in the bullying/hazing of teammate Jonathan Martin, has filed a grievance against the team.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today has the news:
Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo provides the reasoning behind the grievance and adds that the appeal may not be expedited as Incognito requested:
The NFLPA also commented following the filing of the grievance (via Garafolo and Brian McIntyre):
NFLPA statement on Incognito grievance includes: "The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 14, 2013
From the NFLPA: "Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team."— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) November 14, 2013
Incognito was suspended from the team after sending obscenity-laden voicemails and text messages to teammate Jonathan Martin, reportedly forcing the second-year player into a mental breakdown. Incognito is filing a "non-football injury grievance," according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
According to Mortensen, the current collective bargaining agreement states that a player who is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team—as Incognito is—can be held out for four games plus an additional paycheck.
In Incognito's situation, that would mean losing more than $1 million.
Since the suspension, the veteran offensive lineman, in an interview with Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, has said that Martin has used similar vulgar language in his own messages, noting that is the nature of their friendship.
Incognito said he has "had Martin's back," and phone records show over 1,000 text messages between the two over the past year.
While some teammates have proclaimed their support for Incognito, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has said that he won't make a decision on the matter until he hears "all the facts," via NFL.com's Albert Breer.
Clearly, this is a bizarre situation, and Incognito feels that he has been wrongly suspended for an indefinite amount of time.
Even if he does win the grievance, there's a chance that he will simply be given his outright release, as it's hard to imagine him returning to the Dolphins after all of this.