Richie Incognito is a jerk. He's has always been a jerk and he will always be considered a jerk, especially after this recent controversy. The thing is, I'm not buying it this time.
When I first heard the news that Incognito was involved in another incident, my reaction was immediately to put all blame on him regardless of circumstances and without a second thought. As I've watched events unfold I'm seeing a new story. Richie Incognito was thrown under a bus.
My first indication that something might be different here was in the interview with Incognito outside of his apartment. He appeared calm, gracious and respectful, nothing like the belligerent psychopath that's been portrayed. This alone doesn't mean a whole lot, but it got me thinking and it opened up my mind.
The second revelation in this drama is that the Dolphins players apparently believe that Johnathan Martin and Incognito were friends. Why does this matter? Well, it matters because sometimes adult men who are friends say the worst imaginable thing to each other. I'm not condoning the use of the n-word or the other statements, but sometimes buddies say those things to each other and it's not meant to be threatening.
The final straw for me was finding out that it was Martin or someone from Martin's camp who released the voicemail themselves. This wasn't ESPN digging it up, or some other source. It was Martin himself. Why would Martin do something like that? Why would he give up his friend after he had some kind of mental breakdown? To save his own job. In the NFL, there is no way Martin could show his face again after giving up on his team like he did. Therefore, Jonathan Martin threw Incognito under the bus to save his career.
This whole idea of mine is probably a bit of a stretch, but it's not something I've heard much outside of a few Dolphins players and maybe a few ex-players in the media. So if you have any ideas about the situation, let's hear them.