Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 25
Jonathan Martin's agent has since denied the original report (via Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports):
The statement from Rick Smith, Martin's agent: "We have no idea where you got this information, but it wasn't even close."— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 25, 2014
Smith also added: "We'd appreciate it if everyone backed off and allowed the process to happen organically."— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 25, 2014
"I was precluded from talking to him while the investigation was going on," Ross said. "Now that we got report, the lawyers are trying to arrange the meeting, which should take place relatively soon I believe."
It's remains unclear how plausible a Martin return to the Dolphins actually is. Ross sounded open to a discussion.
"I think he wants to talk to me and I'm prepared to listen," he said.
Martin declined to comment on the situation, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly:
When asked directly what Martin, a 23-game starting offensive tackle for the Dolphins, wants to happen moving forward, Martin declined to get into specifics in a telephone interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday.
“I really can’t comment,” said Martin, speaking publicly for the first time since the Ted Wells report was released on Feb. 14. “I’m just going to let the process take care of itself,” said Martin.
The Miami Dolphins may be interested in having Jonathan Martin rejoin the team after he left following a highly publicized bullying incident back in October, but the offensive tackle reportedly has no interest in returning to the franchise.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Martin’s agents met with Dawn Aponte, Dolphins VP of football operations, general manager Dennis Hickey and head coach Joe Philbin during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend to discuss the player’s future with the club.
According to La Canfora’s report, it was made clear that the 24-year-old was uncomfortable with the prospect of returning to South Beach to play for the Dolphins.
That doesn’t mean that Martin’s tenure in the NFL is at a close, however, as Andrew Abramson of The Palm Beach Post found that the Stanford product wants to start fresh with another organization. Although, it has yet to be determined if the second-round pick will be traded or released with the opportunity to sign on elsewhere.
Abramson’s anonymous source noted that it would be tough for Martin to return to the Miami locker room, even if the atmosphere changes and the personnel involved with the bullying scandal are removed:
How do you take him back? Do you get rid of Pouncey? All these guys talked s*** about him. I don’t even know how it’s possible.
The owner might believe that what he touches can turn to gold. I don’t think (Martin) would be open to that.
La Canfora noted that Philbin was reportedly “staring daggers” during the meeting and stated that Martin’s representatives were the reason that the controversy became public. There isn't much logical reason that Martin would want to return to a hostile situation with the same, now-bitter head coach still in charge.
Still, the 6’5”, 312-pound Martin was starting at tackle when he left the Dolphins and is still under contract with the team. Considering Miami is facing the prospects of completely rebuilding the offensive line this offseason, it makes sense that it would gauge Martin’s interest in returning.
The franchise has already axed offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill for their roles in the scandal, which were highlighted by the Ted Wells report released earlier this month.
Miami still has a long way to go to completely put this ordeal behind it, but getting Martin to rejoin the team would have been a potential boon to the healing process.
Alas, it was not to be, and it will be interesting to see what happens with Martin as he attempts to negotiate his escape from Miami and resume his NFL career.
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found that Martin believes he can mesh with any "typical" locker room in the NFL:
"I hope the culture I experienced isn't typical of NFL locker rooms. I talked to other players & I know I'd fit into any NFL locker room."— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 29, 2014
Should Martin re-consider his stance on not playing for Miami?
Whether that proves to be the case will be a hot topic moving forward, but there is still much to be done before Martin returns to the league to play another snap.
Martin is still a second-round talent with NFL experience. However, other teams will likely be wary of the media attention that would come with his potential arrival.
Expect a team in need of tackle depth to take a chance on the 24-year-old.