The NFL launched its investigation into the locker-room treatment of Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin on Monday, opening a Pandora's box of evidence that implicates Martin's teammate, Richie Incognito.
According to a source close to Martin, the second-year pro brought incriminating texts and voice mails to his parents on Saturday, before choosing to turn them over to the Dolphins and the league on Sunday.
After gathering information on Sunday, the Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely. At a Monday news conference, coach Joe Philbin said the NFL will conduct a "comprehensive" and "objective" review to determine whether the Dolphins' organization offers personnel a safe workplace atmosphere.
"I will tell you that, if the review shows this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it is," Philbin said. "I have that obligation to the players that I coach on a daily basis. And I will do that."One of the main pieces of evidence provided to the Dolphins and the league is a transcript of a voice mail Incognito left Martin in April. The transcript, as obtained by NFL Media, reads:
"Hey, wassup, you half (expletive) piece of (expletive). I saw you on Twitter, you been training ten weeks. I'll (expletive) in your (expletive) mouth. I'm gonna slap your (expletive) mouth, I'm gonna slap your real mother across the face (laughter). (Expletive) you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
The NFL Players Association has also been kept abreast of developments and plans to look into the workplace problems in Miami. However, the NFLPA is taking a "wait-and-see" approach with the Martin-Incognito situation, according to union sources. The case made against Incognito also, to a lesser degree, implicated Dolphins center Mike Pouncey.
Sources close to Martin indicated that Incognito's and Pouncey's leadership roles on the team made it more difficult for Martin to address the problem. Incognito sits on Miami's leadership council.
Before Martin's breakdown last Monday, the Dolphins' feeling was that there had been nothing more than the normal locker-room banter between Martin and his fellow offensive linemen.
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 position group. In fact, one source said Martin was part of the same prank when some players carried it out on guard Nate Garner one week earlier. Another source said Martin's line teammates weren't aware of his previous problems or that he'd met with Philbin, which led those players to believe nothing was wrong.
Two team sources, and two additional, separate sources said Martin met with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in the spring to address his issues. The team sources said that, at that point, the Dolphins were not aware Martin had a problem with the locker-room culture and were under the impression that Martin's issues had been addressed properly. All four sources confirmed that Martin's teammates were largely unaware of his problems. Martin has sought counseling for his emotional issues.
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.
Philbin made it very clear on Monday that prior to Sunday, there "were never any accusations or allegations of misconduct by any members of this team or this organization."