When the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying story broke last October, it brought to light the unfiltered locker room antics that most don’t know exist. Martin left the Miami Dolphins and Incognito was subsequently suspended, opening up speculation on their futures with not only the Dolphins, but the NFL as well. Many have said Martin would be a good fit for the Indianapolis Colts, and vice versa, but now that the investigation’s report has been released, should the Colts still try to trade for him?
Let’s start with some backstory in case you’ve been living under a rock since last October. On October 28, 2013, Martin left the Dolphins’ practice facility after a lunch room prank apparently sent him over the edge. From there Martin checked himself into a hospital, followed by the “truth” slowly trickling out.
As the Ted Wells report indicates, Martin was a victim of “persistent bullying, harassment and ridicule” from his teammates. Wells spent several months pouring through thousands of text messages and conducting over 100 interviews to get their conclusion.
So the report backed Martin’s story, but where does that leave him with the Dolphins?
At this point it seems best for Martin and the Dolphins to split. Incognito was not the only Dolphin who was named in Wells’ report to have bullied Martin; Mike Pouncey and John Jerry were also named. That leaves two options: the Dolphins can cut Martin or trade him. Trading him would be more logical since the Dolphins could recoup at least a draft pick in spite of the incident.
The Colts trading for Martin would be a great move for both parties, at least on paper. Martin played at the University of Stanford with Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen and Pep Hamilton, so his comfort level would be high coming in. The Colts could use some help on the offensive line, which Martin could provide after starting 23 straight games, including all 16 his rookie season.
That’s the pros of the deal, but the cons could potentially be too much.
In Wells’ report, he stated: “Incognito contends that the conduct about which Martin complains was part of locker room banter meant in good fun and that Martin was a willing and active participant in verbal sparring, never letting on that he was hurt by it.”
Would Martin fit in with the Colts locker room? While we’ve never heard anything negative come out of it, you have to imagine the same kind of “ribbing” takes place, just not to the same extreme. But who’s to say what Martin would take as a joke and what he would find offensive? If he did find it offensive would he speak up this time? The constant worrying about what you could and couldn’t say around Martin could cause some players to distance themselves from him, potentially causing a locker room rift.
These are the kinds of questions not only players and coaches have to think about, but also the front office. In the end, it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons of bringing Martin on board. He could be a huge piece for your offensive line or he could destroy your locker room. Either way the Colts seem to be his best option.