In the three years since the Dolphins’ ugly bullying scandal, Jonathan Martin has tried on several occasions to speak with Richie Incognito about what went down.
“Zero conversation with Jonathan Martin,” Incognito told Miami reporters Wednesday. “He's reached out and tried to speak a few times, but I have nothing to say.”
Incognito, an offensive guard now with the Buffalo Bills, still has scars from the saga, which resulted in his banishment from the league for the last half of the 2013 season. The ordeal, in Incognito’s words, made him “a pariah in the national media, and [I] basically turned radioactive there for a few months.”
Martin accused Incognito and teammates Mike Pouncey and John Jerry of repeated emotional abuse; Ted Wells, an independent investigator, ultimately took issue with culture inside the Dolphins’ locker room.
Pouncey and Jerry were never punished, but Incognito not only lost his job, he was out of the league for the entire 2014 season. Incognito remained unemployed until Rex Ryan and the Bills gave him a chance last year, and he rewarded the organization with a Pro Bowl season.
“I let him know everybody makes mistakes in life,” Ryan said. “I'm one that's made several in my life. But everybody deserves another opportunity as well. There's no do-overs; he owned it and did everything. He has been unbelievable here. He's a leader here. Every teammate respects him. People in our community look up to Richie. Everybody loves him. He's been outstanding on the football field and in our community.”
Incognito still keeps in touch with his former Dolphins teammates, particularly those who rallied to his defense during the worst of the scandal.
And while Incognito kept in contact with Joe Philbin throughout the ordeal, he said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross “never reached out to me and I haven’t had a word with Stephen Ross since before my suspension.”
Incognito again insisted that he and Martin were close friends and that he “cared about him.”
“If anybody was there for Jonathan, it was me,” Incognito said. “And Jonathan had his troubles. He had his demons, like we all do. He left for whatever reason and he handled it the way he did and then really the story kind of takes on a life of its own. And there’s the narrative that Jonathan Martin and his camp wants you to believe and then there’s, you know, what me, what Mike Pouncey, what John Jerry, what [offensive line coach] Jim Turner, what Joe Philbin — what we know what happened.
He added: “I could sleep good at night knowing what happened and what my actions were. I’m not saying I was a saint but I sleep well at night knowing what I did.”
WILLIAMS VS. BILLS
Dolphins defensive end Mario Williams would have liked to enter this week’s Buffalo game in a blaze of glory, with shiny stats and as anchor on a winning defense.
Instead, he enters as a recently demoted backup on an underperforming defense, a player with just eight tackles and one sack in six games.
Williams and the Bills parted on poor terms.Williams criticized the scheme, suggesting that was responsible for his limited production (19 tackles, five sacks).
Williams tried to downplay Sunday’s game, calling it “another opportunity to play football.”
After starting and playing heavy snap counts the first five games, Williams was limited to 13 snaps on Sunday. Cam Wake and Andre Branch replaced Williams and Jason Jones as the starting ends, and Williams said he wasn’t surprised.
“It was different,” he said, adding that “with the few plays I was out there, it could be better. More plays, [you] have more of a rhythm.”
Did he take the demotion as a message that he needs to get better?
“By all means, I’ve got to get better regardless,” he said.
Williams declined an opportunity to rip the Bills Wednesday. “Nah, no, because I’m here, I’m in Miami," Williams said. "That’s not something that I speak about.”
Ryan said Wednesday: “I didn't say any critical things about him. He's been an outstanding player in this league for a long time. I would expect him to be very motivated.”