Jonathan Martin firmly intends to continue his NFL career in 2014, but according to sources he'd prefer it not be with the Miami Dolphins, which subjected Martin to a hostile working environment that forced him to quit the team last October. When asked directly what Martin, a 23-game starting offensive tackle for the Dolphins, wants to happen moving forward, Martin declined to get into specifics in a telephone interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday. "I really can't comment," said Martin, speaking publicly for the first time since the Ted Wells report was released on Feb. 14. "I'm just going to let the process take care of itself." By the process, he's likely referring to the NFL giving the Dolphins some direction on how to handle the final two years on the four-year, $4,784,267 contract Martin signed in 2012, which featured a $1.9 million signing bonus. At last week's NFL combine in Indianapolis, Martin's representatives told the Dolphins their client would prefer to not return to Miami's locker room, which featured a culture that tolerated hazing, and had players and employees allegedly being subjected to teasing and harsh language, according to the Ted Wells report on the bullying scandal. According to a CBSSports.com report, Miami's new general manager Dennis Hickey told Martin's agents he wants Martin, a 2012 second-round pick, to return to the team. But the report claims head coach Joe Philbin blamed Martin's agents for the bullying saga being blown up on a national scale. Rick Smith, one of Martin's agents, released a statement disputing the report. However, it is clear everyone involved in this drama is being cautious because their conduct and words could become part of a legal proceeding, which seems inevitable. Dolphins owner Steve Ross stuttered on Tuesday when asked for his reaction to Wells' independent report on the Dolphins' bullying saga. Ross then said his opinion of the report's degree of accuracy was "irrelevant." Ross asked that he and his franchise be judged by their actions moving forward. "It's not a question of whether I believe it is true or not true," Ross said. "I have my ideas about that, but that's private, and it isn't relevant right now." Ross was encouraged by the NFL to avoid contact with Martin while Wells' investigation was ongoing. Upon the report's release Ross claimed he intended to meet with Martin, but he hasn't yet.
Jonathan Martin: 'I'm just going to let the process take care of itself'
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Feb 26