SBD/December 11, 2013/Franchises

Dolphins Investigation Not Expected To Be Wrapped Up Before Year's End

Incognito's suspension is ongoing, while the Dolphins battle for a playoff spot
NFL special investigator Ted Wells' report on the Dolphins' bullying allegations "is not expected to be completed before the end of the year," according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. A source "dispelled earlier reports" that Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin "was not turning over text messages to Wells and had been unwilling to sit down with Richard Smith, the independent investigator for the NFLPA." The source added that a second interview with suspended Dolphins G Richie Incognito scheduled for this week "has been canceled, as have interviews with 11 other Dolphins players" (ESPN.com, 12/10). In Miami, Armando Salguero notes it is "all about football for the Dolphins these days, as the "spectre of scandal and possible firings or suspensions stemming from the NFL investigation that dominated the headlines last month has faded." The investigation, "completed or not, may not be released until after the Super Bowl." The "last thing the NFL wants the final month of the season is the narrative to turn away from football and toward an uncomfortable scandal." It is "unfair to the Dolphins, who are in the middle of a playoff hunt, and the league that is enjoying perhaps its most popular time of the year as fans, the media and teams gear up for the postseason." This story and scandal "that was so explosive for multiple weeks in November will be turned into a much smaller story that captures the headlines for a short time in the offseason." The NFL "knows how to handle a crisis" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 12/11).

STAYING PUT: The HERALD's Salguero wrote Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, who fans "see as the most likely casualty" from the bullying scandal, is "getting a new life." A source said that Ireland "has received assurances" team Owner Stephen Ross that "his job is safe." Salguero wrote keeping Ireland would be "the right way for Ross to proceed" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/10).
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