Miami Dolphins  

 

Jonathan Martin talked to Joe Philbin about issues in spring

The Jonathan Martin situation just recently came to a head, but it's hardly new.

Multiple Miami Dolphins sources said Sunday that the offensive lineman approached coach Joe Philbin to discuss his issues during organized team activities in the spring. One team source said Martin's desire to even continue playing football had been questioned, but the team believed the situation was quelled after it was addressed at that time. Another source who has spoken to Martin said the second-year pro addressed his issues with the work environment in Miami at the meeting with Philbin, though a team source contended the Dolphins weren't aware of them until last week.

Internally, Dolphins officials wondered if the Bryant McKinnie trade two weeks ago -- done largely because of Martin's struggles at left tackle and the team's overall problems up front -- was responsible for Martin's issue bubbling up again last week. But according to a team source and a source close to the player, it was communicated to the Dolphins that Martin wasn't angry or dispirited over the deal.

The lunch-room prank that apparently sent Martin over the edge involved the offensive linemen, who would stand up and leave the table after the last one arrived with his food, leaving that person by himself. Multiple team sources characterized the prank as being fairly ordinary among the O-linemen. In fact, one source said Martin was part of the same prank when some players played it on guard Nate Garner one week earlier. Another source said Martin's O-line mates weren't aware of his previous problems or that he'd met with Philbin, which led those players to believe nothing was wrong.

Also at issue, according to a source close to Martin, was the $15,000 that teammates expected him to pay for a Las Vegas trip that he didn't attend.

The NFL Players Association released a statement Saturday saying it isn't conducting an investigation into how Dolphins teammates treated Martin, although executive director DeMaurice Smith told NFL Media's Jeff Darlington on Sunday that the situation is on the union's radar.

"Our job is to make sure that, as facts come in, we take a look at them," Smith said at FedEx Field before the Washington Redskins' game against the San Diego Chargers. "We take our job seriously about protecting and ensuring that the league and the clubs provide a safe workplace for our players. So, right now, our job is to make sure, as information comes in, we take a hard look at it and stay on top of the situation."

UPDATE: Incognito told Darlington on Sunday that he has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Philbin delivered the news to Incognito, and the Dolphins later confirmed the suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.

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