Updates from Monday, Feb. 17
Less than a week after going on his epic Twitter rant, Richie Incognito took to the medium once again, this time to apologize for his actions last week (some language NSFW):
I apologize for acting like a big baby the last few days. This has all been so much on me and my family. I just want to play football— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 17, 2014
I want everyone to know I'm in good spirits and looking forward to playing again one day— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 17, 2014
Later in the evening he added the following:
I would like to send Jonathan my apologies as well. Until someone tells me different you are still my brother. No hard feelings :)— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 18, 2014
There are no winners in the courts. Just families left to deal with their decisions and pick up the pieces. You can't free something— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 18, 2014
I would like to also apologize to Mr. Ross and Mr. Wells. Shit got cray cray #MYBAD— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 18, 2014
Former Miami Dolphins offensive guard Richie Incognito has had enough with the public perception that he bullied ex-teammate Jonathan Martin.
After staying quiet on the issue for an extended period of time, the Pro Bowler took to Twitter on Wednesday and exploded on Martin.
The tirade commenced in innocent fashion with Incognito giving a shout-out to the entire social network:
What's up TWITTTER!!!!!!! Happy Hump Day!!!!!— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Unfortunately, it only got uglier from there.
Incognito stated he felt betrayed by Martin for the months-long bullying saga and implied he has been forthcoming about the truth, while Martin's side has not been:
Dear Jon Martin..... The truth is going to bury you and your entire "camp". You could have told the truth the entire time.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Then came the allusion to the voicemail Kenny Zuckerman of Priority Sports leaked to ESPN, in which Incognito used offensive language, profanity and slurs in his apparent bullying of Martin. It was something the two offensive linemen and wide receiver Brian Hartline allegedly joked about:
Jon Martin---you started all of this when Kenny Zuckerman released the VM to ESPN. The same VM we joked about with @brianhartline— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Kenny Zuckerman from Priority Sports.... What do you have to say for your actions? Why did you release the VM. What was your goal ?— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Incognito maintained accountability for the poor choice of words he used in the distasteful audio that leaked, expressing that he hasn't hid from it. He also apologized for any sort of language that would be construed as misogynistic in nature:
I'm guilty of being a loyal friend and good teammate. I apologize for my poor language and rude remarks. I've never denied it.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
I apologize to all of the women out there that I offended with my text messages to my close personal friend.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Frustration is an acceptable emotion for Incognito to be feeling, but the final tweet crossed the line into cruelty:
FACT: Jonathan Martin told me he thought about taking his own life in MAY 2013 b/c he wasn't playing well. Told me he felt worthless.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
It is unclear as to whether that last bit is true, and it may never be known. Regardless, it is a disturbing assertion and one that should have been kept under wraps no matter Incognito's feelings on this bullying situation.
After a brief delay amid the rapid succession of tweets, Incognito put an end to his comments:
I have no further comment at this time. Please contact my attorney Mark Schamel @WCSRtweet 202-857-4481— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
"The facts clearly show the allegations are false and there was no bullying," Incognito said. "Just banter both ways between two good friends. I intend to do as I always have: focus on doing the best job I can for my team and fans and helping my team win. I will have no other comment until the (Ted) Wells report is issued."
Fox Sports 1's Joe Klatt implied that Incognito's personal exoneration attempt came because of the independent investigation renowned attorney Ted Wells is conducting on the matter, which is due to close soon:
All of the @68INCOGNITO tweets today clearly have something to do with the Ted Wells investigation and the report that is imminent— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) February 12, 2014
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports provided his input, noting that Incognito likely knows what will be in the Wells report, which is why he has chosen to speak out now:
Sure sounds like @68INCOGNITO knows what's in the report. Sounding off like a man who does.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) February 12, 2014
Look if @68INCOGNITO knows he's being cleared, why not fire away?— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) February 12, 2014
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller responded with a strong counter point:
@PriscoCBS The opposite is also true. If he knows he won't be cleared...— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 12, 2014
The text messages (NSFW) recently released by The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre painted a different picture from the near-unanimous perception that Martin was indeed bullied by a player in Incognito who has had a reputation for being dirty on the field.
NFL Network's Albert Breer weighed in on the matter in that context:
This brings me back to last week, when the texts went up on @thebiglead ... A Dolphins coach texted me: "The truth is finally coming out..."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 12, 2014
A source with knowledge of the situation spoke about Incognito's possible motivations for what he did on Twitter, per ProFootballTalk.com:
League source on Incognito: "He just wants to have his way. This is his way of stomping and holding his breath."— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 12, 2014
NFL reporter Jason Cole provided some insight into what some of Incognito's Miami teammates have been thinking:
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network suggests Martin's career in Miami may not be over via Mike Coppinger of NFL.com:
The embattled offensive tackle wants to play in 2014 and it's not outside the realm of possibility he continues his career in South Beach, Rapoport reported Wednesday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," per several sources close to Martin.
Since the flames of controversy ignited following Martin's departure from the team in October, it seemed to be a longshot he would ever play another down for the 'Fins. However, the atmosphere has changed in Miami. General manager Jeff Ireland is out, it's doubtfulRichie Incognito will return, and the locker-room culture likely will be transformed in the wake of bullying accusations. In fact, Martin's people have been in contact with the Dolphins on some level over the past couple of weeks, per Rapoport.
Incognito is no longer under indefinite suspension but isn't part of the Dolphins team, per The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero. Because he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he'll have a chance to try to link up with another NFL team, though it is unclear if any team would have interest in him considering his past and these controversial circumstances.
Given his tendency toward volatile behavior, prospective suitors will face a dilemma since Incognito has played at a Pro Bowl level but also carries baggage with him on and off the field.
This whole situation has put the future of his career as well as Martin's in jeopardy, but going on a rant like the one he did on Wednesday isn't likely to help Incognito as he seeks a new NFL destination.