12:35pm: According to La Canfora (all Twitter links), Martin’s agent Rick Smith has released a statement saying La Canfora’s initial report isn’t true. “We have no idea where you got this information,” Smith said. “But it wasn’t even close.”
Despite Smith’s strong denial, it’s worth noting that Abramson published a separate report on Martin not wanting to return to the Dolphins (linked below), so it’s hard to believe there’s no truth to that aspect of the story. Perhaps Smith is shooting down some of the specific details reported by La Canfora about the meeting.
12:07pm: The Dolphins have publicly suggested that Jonathan Martin‘s time in Miami doesn’t necessarily have to come to an end this offseason, and while that was viewed as a tactic to attempt to boost his trade value, the team conveyed a similar sentiment at the combine, sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. According to La Canfora, Dolphins CEO Dawn Aponte, GM Dennis Hickey, and head coach Joe Philbin met with Martin’s agents in Indianapolis and expressed interest in retaining the offensive lineman. However, La Canfora continues, Martin’s reps informed the Miami decision-makers that their client isn’t interested in returning to the organization.
Hickey, who La Canfora says did most of the talking on the Dolphins’ side during the meeting, expressed a desire to bring Martin back into the fold. According to the CBS scribe though, Philbin was “staring daggers” across the room during the meeting, and blames Martin’s agents for the situation reaching this point — the head coach felt that the tackle’s discomfort could have been addressed more privately, and handled differently.
Richie Incognito and John Jerry are eligible for free agency this offseason and neither player will return to Miami, which eliminates a pair of the linemen implicated in the Ted Wells report. Still, center Mike Pouncey, who was also identified as one of Martin’s harassers in the report, remains under contract and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere for 2014. Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post was also told that Martin doesn’t want to return to the Dolphins, and Abramson’s source pointed to Pouncey’s presence as one reason why it wouldn’t work.
“How do you take him back?” the source said. “Do you get rid of Pouncey? All these guys talked s**** about him. I don’t even know how it’s possible.”
For his part, Martin has continually expressed a desire to continue his playing career. With his trade value at an all-time low and no interest in reporting to the Dolphins, the 24-year-old appears likely to be cut, which would give him a chance to join another NFL franchise. Nonetheless, Abramson notes that Miami owner Stephen Ross still intends to meet with Martin this week.