Wells will determine the role of coach Joe Philbin, his staff and Miami management in the case. One issue is whether anyone on the coaching staff ordered Incognito to toughen up Martin, who became a starter as a rookie in 2012 but played poorly at times. Martin has said people in the organization knew he was unhappy about comments teammates made to him, but he didn’t talk to Philbin about it. The 6-foot-5, 312-pound Martin abruptly left the team Oct. 28. He was briefly hospitalized and then joined his family in California and underwent counseling for emotional issues.
Incognito was suspended Nov. 3 and sat out the final eight games.
Both players have said they want to play in 2014.
, but it likely won’t be with the Dolphins. Incognito becomes a free agent this winter and will probably sign with another team, and Dolphins are expected to trade or release Martin, who has two years remaining on his contract.
Teammates said the two linemen seemed to be good friends, despite their contrasting backgrounds. Martin, 24, was a classics major at Stanford, while Incognito, 30, was kicked off his team at Nebraska and went on to develop a reputation as one of the NFL’s dirtiest players known for out-of-bounds behavior.
Incognito has said he regrets racist and profane language he used with Martin, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room “brotherhood,” not bullying. Incognito is white and Martin is black.
Teammates both black and white have said Incognito is not a racist, and they’ve been more supportive of the veteran guard than they have of Martin.
In November there were reports that Ross might clean house after the season. But Philbin was retained to return for a third season in 2014, and most of his staff remains, including offensive line coach Jim Turner, who worked most closely with Incognito and Martin.
General manager Jeff Ireland left the Dolphins in January after six seasons because of the team’s mediocre results, and because he clashed with Philbin over personnel decisions.