Dolphins guard Richie Incognito has sought professional help for mental health issues following two weeks of erratic behavior in public, according to media reports Friday.
Incognito’s unusual behavior perhaps is the result of the release of investigator Ted Wells’ report that was requested by the NFL to investigate harassment in the Dolphins’ locker room.
Recently, Incognito used social media to fire agent David Dunn, then recanted; he then apologized to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Wells and former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team after being unable to take the incessant bullying Wells’ report said he was subject to from Incognito, center Mike Pouncey and guard John Jerry.
This week, Incognito took a baseball bat to his black Ferrari FF and left it in front of his Scottsdale, Ariz., home. He declared to a KSAZ Fox 10 reporting team that he would donate the car to Orangewood Pals, an Orange County, Calif., organization that works with abused and neglected children (Dunn works out of Orange County, also).
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“That was just me venting,” Incognito told the reporting team Thursday. “That was my self-expression. That was a piece of art.”
Incognito couldn’t have been more pleasant when the reporter and cameraman showed up at his Scottsdale home Thursday after news of Incognito’s Ferrari-bashing went viral.
Though declaring a couple of times he and his family were private people, Incognito answered the reporter’s questions without a trace of rancor, displaying the manner that prompted the South Florida Professional Football Writers Association chapter to award him the 2012 Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media.
“Me and my dad built and designed this house. When things went down, it was just unfortunate,” Incognito said. “We understand it. Me, my dad, my brother, my mom, my dad, Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins, [Dolphins owner] Stephen Ross, you … we’re all brothers and sisters. I think we all understand that. It’s just time to move on. Words were said. Things were done. At at the end of the day, we’re all brothers and sisters. We’re here to lift each other up, and we’re here to motivate each other to get the best out of one another.”
Explosions of off-field violence and on-field over-the-line play marked Incognito’s college and NFL careers. In a lengthy NFL.com profile, he admitted he has sought professional help for his behavior, which almost cost him his career before the Dolphins signed him in 2010.
Former University of Miami center Brett Romberg, a teammate of Incognito’s in St. Louis for three seasons and still a good friend, told 790 The Ticket’s morning show: “No joke … I’m really concerned.”
Romberg said his wife told him he should get in touch with Incognito. In addition to an uncertain professional future, Incognito is dealing with the recent dissolution of his parents’ marriage.
“His parents are his backbone in life,” Romberg told the show’s hosts, Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor. “This is just bad. It’s getting really, really bad. I’m terrified he might go about doing something really, really, really bad to himself. Now, it’s dangerous. I don’t think he’s going to go as far as to hurt other people. I think it’s just a self-inflicted breakdown.”