Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins in connection with alleged bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin, has filed a grievance against the team.
Incognito, who was suspended Nov. 3 after allegations of harassment toward Martin, has missed one game. The most a player can be suspended by a team is four games, which would amount to more than $1.27 million in lost salary for Incognito.
"The grievance challenges [Incognito's] suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club," the NFL Players Association said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team. The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players."
Under terms of the NFL's labor agreement, all non-football grievances must be heard by a neutral arbitrator.
Meanwhile, Martin is set to meet this morning with attorney Ted Wells, who was appointed last week by the NFL to perform an independent investigation of the Dolphins' situation.
Incognito insists he did not bully Martin, but admitted sending vulgar text messages that could be perceived by others outside the locker room to be racist and / or inappropriate. He said he and Martin regularly texted one another, and that Martin had sent back texts that could be considered inappropriate.
"You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins' locker room who had Jon Martin's back the absolute most, and they will undoubtedly tell you [it was me]," Incognito said in an interview on Sunday with Fox Sports. "Jon never showed signs that football was getting to him [or] the locker room was getting to him."
Martin left the Dolphins Oct. 28 after an incident in the team's lunchroom. Incognito said Sunday that he and Martin exchanged text messages four days later.
Incognito's phone showed 1,142 text messages between the two players over the past year, according to Fox Sports.
Martin's attorney, David Cornwell, has said Martin was repeatedly harassed by Incognito and others in ways that "went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing."