Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team on Oct. 28 after an incident in the team's cafeteria and has since leveled allegations of extensive bullying within the locker room, met for more than seven hours with an NFL-appointed attorney investigating the situation on Friday in Manhattan.
Martin read a brief statement after the meeting, saying that he had a detailed conversation with attorney Ted Wells about the Dolphins' workplace environment. Martin also said he wants to continue with his NFL career, although he didn't specifically say he wants to remain with the Dolphins.
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"Although I went into great detail with Mr. Ted Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time," Martin said. "I do, however, look forward to speaking directly with Stephen Ross, Tom Garfinkel and the Dolphins' organization at the appropriate time. This is the right way to handle the matter. Beyond that, I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League."
Through his attorney, David Cornwell, Martin last week alleged extensive bullying by his Dolphins teammates. Left guard Richie Incognito, who left a racially charged telephone message for Martin in the spring, was suspended indefinitely without pay by the Dolphins on Nov. 3. On Thursday, Incognito appealed his suspension.
Wells did not meet with reporters on Friday. He plans to meet with Dolphins players next week in Miami to further discuss workplace environment issues. Wells, a prominent New York-based attorney, was appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to head an investigation into the Dolphins' locker-room culture.
Ross said on Monday that he planned to meet with Martin on Wednesday, but Wells asked that the owner postpone the meeting until he had a chance to speak with Martin. Ross has appointed two committees to examine the Dolphins' locker- room culture. The second-year tackle was accompanied to Friday's hearing by Cornwell.
In Miami Friday, long snapper John Denney, the team's union representative, discussed the locker-room issues raised as a result of the Incognito-Martin situation.
"I can't say I saw it firsthand because I'm not an offensive lineman," he told reporters. "I can tell you from my perspective, and having been in this locker room, I never saw it coming. I can say that. It was a surprise to me. There did not seem to be an increase in behavioral problems. It's been the same here my entire career."
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who did not directly address Friday's meeting between Martin and Wells, said he continues to believe in his players.
"I believed in them before this all took place, before all this scrutiny came upon us," he said. "And I believe in them today."
The outcome of the case could have a major effect on how players interact in locker rooms. Wells will determine what role Philbin and his staff may have had in the alleged bullying.