Updates from Friday, March 21
Ian Rapoport of NFL Networkhas the latest on Incognito:
Richie Incognito wants to return to @NFL. What is his status? Source says he CAN sign a contract, but cannot be paid or play until… (1/2)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2014
(2/2) … Incognito undergoes comprehensive eval by NFL-NFLPA designated medical advisors. Goodell must review their report & recommendation.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, March 19
Incognito spoke out for the first time since undergoing treatment:
I missed you guys. Thanks goes out to my family and friends for the tremendous amount of support.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) March 19, 2014
Looking forward to getting back to work ASAP ;)— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) March 19, 2014
Richie Incognito endured "severe mental stress" following the release of attorney Ted Wells' 144-page report, which detailed information discovered during an investigation into the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. Incognito is now receiving professional help to work through the issues.
Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network provided the update on Incognito's status:
After a very long few weeks, I can report Richie Incognito has accepted professional help in wake of severe mental stress from Wells report.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 28, 2014
Incognito is currently being treated at a facility in Arizona after what has been some very stressful times for him & those closest to him.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 28, 2014
Word of the decision to seek help comes one day after TMZ reported Incognito admitted to the Scottsdale Police Department that he used a baseball bat to damage his own Ferrari. Neighbors noticed the car with a piece of the bat sticking out of the front end.
Incognito later confirmed to Nicole Garcia of Fox 10 News in Phoenix that he was responsible for the damage:
Oh that was...that was just me venting. That was my self-expression, that was a...that's a piece of art. The happiest day of my life was when I got that car, and now the second-happiest day will be when I donate it to charity.
The 30-year-old New Jersey native also expressed a desire to move on after a tumultuous couple of months after the allegations of bullying were brought to public light:
When things went down, it was just unfortunate. And...you know, we understand it. Me and my dad and my brother and my mom, my dad, Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, you...we're all brothers and sisters. I think we all understand that it's just time to move on. You know, words were said, things were done, but at the end of the day we're all brothers and sisters.
His bizarre choice to smash his own luxury car and now the decision to get professional help comes shortly after the Wells report named him as one of the Dolphins engaged in harassing teammate Jonathan Martin and two unnamed members of the organization.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com broke down the investigation's findings:
The biggest takeaway from the report: There was a consistent pattern of harassment by Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey.
The harassment not only was directed at Martin, but also at an unnamed Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
The results apparently upset Incognito enough that it led to mental problems, which would help explain why he would take a baseball bat to a perfectly good vehicle. He does plan to sell the car, as he told Garcia in his Fox 10 News interview: "The Ferrari is going to be for sale through my mission, which is helping the brotherhood, whatever brotherhood it is."
Thankfully, he's reportedly getting help and trying to get back on the right track. Exactly what type of program Incognito is going through and how long it will take remains unclear. Darlington said more information would soon be made available.
It's undoubtedly been a hectic stretch for Incognito, and the entire Dolphins organization for that matter. The lineman is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, but it's important for him to get his head right before even considering trying to get back into the league.
He has apparently taken the first step in that process by attempting to get professional aid.