Whether tackle Jonathan Martin was the victim of bullying isn't the only issue affecting the Dolphins. The Miami Herald's Adam Beasley tweeted Sunday that one young defensive player has nearly gone broke because he's been pressured to pay for older players.
They've gotten sucked into the Miami lifestyle, and the veterans are using the younger players as an ATM, I'm told.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 3, 2013
Recently, a younger player was handed the tab for a $30,000 team dinner. The rookie minimum this year is around $400.000.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 3, 2013
Beasley adds: "When I talked about anger, dysfunction last week, this is what I was referring to. This issue extends far beyond the Martin situation."
Well that was awkward.
Apparently, this isn't an isolated incident. According to ESPN.com, one of the allegations being reviewed in the Martin case is that, last summer, guard Richie Incognito got Martin to contribue $15,000 to help finance a trip to Las Vegas by several Dolphins players -- even though Martin opted not to travel with the group. Instead, Martin allegedly gave Incognito the $15,000 because he feared the consquences of what might happen if he didn't.
Look, making rookies pay the tab is nothing new in the NFL, but when players are being pressured to do it to the point where they're nearly broke then that's a problem. One exacerbated by the Martin saga, which doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.
Two days ago, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, reading from a statement, offered this on the Martin situation.
"I'm aware of this report, and I can say without question that we emphasize a culture of team first, accountability and respect for one another. Any behavior that deviates from that is inconsistent with the values of our organization. This is something that we take very seriously. It will not be tolerated."
If the latest report is true it's fair to wonder if Philbin is out of touch with what's really going on with his team.