The saga between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito took another interesting turn on Monday, Feb. 3, as more than 1,000 text messages between the two have surfaced.
Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 4
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that not all text messages exchanged between the two players were released:
Per a league source, not all of the texts exchanged between the two men were leaked to The Big Lead. Also, text messages involving others weren’t released.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead was able to obtain a transcript of every text between the Miami Dolphins teammates dating back to Oct. 20, 2012, and the dialog helps shed light on a bizarre story that has been unfolding for over three months.
You can view all of the text messages here, courtesy of McIntyre (WARNING: contains NSFW language).
For the uninitiated, Martin, a second-year offensive tackle out of Stanford, left the team in late October after he was reportedly the victim of bullying. It was alleged Incognito used racial slurs toward Martin in text messages and voice mails, and the veteran guard was ultimately suspended for the rest of the season.
However, these text messages paint a picture of Martin and Incognito as friends who each use similar language in ragging on one another.
On Dec. 17, 2012, Martin texted, "Ima egg your house & light a bag of s--- on fire then ring your doorbell," to which Incognito responded, "I'm going to shoot you and claim self defense."
After some more banter, Incognito ended the conversation with "Hahaha," suggesting it was all done in jest.
There were several other exchanges comparable to that one.
In March, the two talked about the departure of Jake Long, who signed with the St. Louis Rams in the offseason. Incognito said Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland "didn't make (Long) feel welcome" and Martin responded with "this is a strange business."
Then, there was the highly publicized Vegas trip, which Martin didn't attend but reportedly helped to fund, per ESPN, as he "gave Incognito $15,000, fearing the consequences if he did not hand over the money."
But his text message in regard to that particular trip reads as follows:
"Man I Just can't justify this Vegas trip with what I've been dealing with recently... Let me know if I owe you anything for the room."
Incognito seemed perfectly fine with it, responding, "It's all good. Let me know if u need anything."
Shortly after Martin left the team in October, Incognito sent several texts of encouragement to his teammate, saying, "What's up dude Glad to hear Ur ok I'm here if u ever need to talk. I've been through enough s--- myself to understand."
Martin eventually replied, "Wassup man? The worlds gone crazy lol I'm good tho congrats on the win." They continued to exchange friendly texts for the next 20 minutes.
The texts finally stop after three from Incognito, who said he's "getting killed in the media" and "The dolphins are talking about releasing me."
SportsRadio 610's Will Grubb noted the outlook isn't great for either player:
I imagine anyone would look bad if you read 1,000 of their text messages, but this isn't good for either side. http://t.co/EcfHnR3vR7— Will Grubb (@WillGrubbRadio) February 4, 2014
Tony Dungy, who interviewed Martin on NBC, also commented on the story (via Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post):
“To be honest, I don’t know everything,” Dungy said this morning. “I know what Jonathan told me in the interview and what he told me when I was talking to him. There’s a report coming out probably in the next week and we’ll find out a lot of things that went on with both sides.”
We may not ever know the entire story, but these text messages suggest Martin, who appears to be an equal participant with Incognito in the inappropriate behavior, is going to have an extremely difficult time proving his innocence.