Under the NFL and NFL Players Association collective bargaining agreement, the Miami Dolphins could only keep guard Richie Incognito suspended without pay for four weeks as the team and the league looks into the allegations of player misconduct originating from tackle Jonathan Martin. Those four weeks were set to expire this Sunday, as the team face the New York Jets. However, Incognito and the Dolphins appear to have come to an agreement that will benefit both sides.
According to NFL Network's Jeff Darlington, the two sides have agreed to an extension to the suspension, with the Dolphins resuming their pat of the Pro Bowl guard. Originally described as an "indefinite" suspension, that definition will now come true as Incognito will remain away from the team until investigator Ted Wells completes his report.
Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins on November 2 after the team officially received allegations of harassment and bullying from Martin's representation. Martin had left the team on October 28, storming out of the team facility and checking himself into a Miami hospital for emotional issues, before returning with his family to California.
Incognito agreed last week to delay his grievance hearing against the Dolphins because of the ongoing investigation. Incognito is reportedly looking the pay checks from the weeks for which he has been suspended, as well as an immediate reinstatement to the Dolphins.
According to the CBA, a team may suspend a player without pay for up to four weeks for detrimental conduct. They may also fine the player one additional game check. While no terms of the agreement have been disclosed, it's likely that the team will not fine Incognito fir the fifth game check.
Wells completed his intial round of interviews with the Dolphins last week, but said he would spend a "few weeks" going over the evidence, as well as possibly following up with re-interviews. Reports have said he would like to talk to former-Dolphins player and current St. Louis Rams tackle Jake Long, as well as meeting with Martin again.
I can now share this detail: Incognito will be paid retroactively for the most recent pair of games. The first two games will remain unpaid.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) November 29, 2013
Incognito suspension can extend two more games after Sunday (six games total). So four games of suspension will be paid; two will be unpaid.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) November 29, 2013
According to NFLPA source, Incognito still holds rights to resume grievance to pursue 2 game checks should team cut him after investigation.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) November 29, 2013