SBD/November 25, 2013/Franchises

NFL Special Investigator Ted Wells To Interview Jonathan Martin A Second Time

Martin's second interview likely will be in the first week of December
Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin will "likely be interviewed a second time by NFL special investigator Ted Wells" about the allegations of bullying by suspended teammate Richie Incognito, according to a source cited by Steven Wine of the AP. The source said that the second interview "will likely be" in N.Y. or California the first week of December (AP, 11/25). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith wrote, "It's entirely possible that this investigation won't be wrapped up until the season is over" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/23). CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora cited sources as saying that Dolphins players are "being less-than-forthcoming" with Wells, and in some cases are "refusing to cooperate at all." Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross "addressed the team last week and urged them to be candid and open with Wells, but that has not been the case and it remains to be seen if Wells is able to corroborate the lengthy accounts he was given" from Martin and Incognito (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/24). In Ft. Lauderdale, Chris Perkins noted the NFL "has no subpoena power," and it "can't force Dolphins players and coaches to tell the truth under threat of perjury." But the league does have "a way to compel players to be honest -- fines and suspensions" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/24). In Miami, Armando Salguero cited a source as saying that Wells' interview with offensive line coach Jim Turner "took approximately two hours." The source said that Wells' interviews with most players "lasted approximately 15 minutes," but the interview with Incognito "took more than five hours over two days," and the interview with C Mike Pouncey "took more than an hour" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 11/24).

ANOTHER LAYER: In Miami, Barry Jackson cited a friend of Martin as saying that Wells has "asked some Dolphins players whether they attended a party" at the home of Pouncey, where an alleged attack on Martin occurred. The friend said that Incognito "was the ring-leader that night, in 2012, and the 'level of punching' of Martin 'became more than playful.'" Wells has been "trying to get to the bottom of that physical attack allegation, among many others." Wells also "asked many Dolphins about how often they heard the N-word in the locker-room and what they thought of it." Reactions "varied widely." Meanwhile, one player said that he "declined Wells' request to meet with him, but changed his mind and agreed to a meeting later in the week" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 11/24).

PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT: The MIAMI HERALD's Salguero wrote the challenges facing Ross "in the coming weeks are, frankly, over his head." Based on his "numerous and well-chronicled past mistakes," Ross "needs help" if he is to replace GM Jeff Ireland. Korn/Ferry Int'l Vice Chair Jed Hughes said, "The general manager pool isn't as well-trained and sophisticated as the coaching pool. It's much more difficult to find a qualified general manager than it is to find a qualified head coach." A source said that Ross "will consider reorganizing the Dolphins and hire a czar of sorts who would have authority over the coach and personnel department." The name that "continually pops up" is Chiefs President Carl Peterson. Hiring a "football czar" -- someone like Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations John Elway -- is a way to "have an overall overseer on the ground and at work every day." That person, "over both the coach and general manager, could decide the fate of both," and they also could "guide Ross through a talent search to fill either job if the decision is made to go in a different direction" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/24).
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