Richie Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins last Sunday, days after teammate Jonathan Martin left the club amid allegations that he was bullied and Incognito was the ringleader.
Coach Joe Philbin called Incognito's suspension indefinite, which means there is currently no timetable for his return. It also means that Incognito doesn't collect his $235,294.12 weekly salary, which could eventually lead him to file a grievance against the team.
But according to ProFootballTalk.com, under the collective bargaining agreement, a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team can't last more than four games. That means the Dolphins will have to decide what to do with Incognito by Dec. 2, the day after what would be his fourth missed game.
The team appears to have two options: Reinstate Incognito on or before Dec. 2 or release him.
Last week, a source told the Miami Herald that Incognito's "done" in Miami. "There are procedures in place and everyone wants to be fair," the source added. "The NFL is involved. But from a club perspective he'll never play another game here."
And that very well may be true. But the NFL investigation could last beyond Dec. 2, which means the Dolphins could choose to cut bait before the details of what actually took place are made public. If that happens, TheMMQB.com's Peter King thinks there's at least one playoff-contending team that could be interested in Incognito's services for the stretch run.
"Now, for that to happen, the team would have to have executives and a head coach with thick skins, a locker room that could see past the controversy and a team with eyes on the Super Bowl that could withstand the distraction Incognito would bring," King wrote Monday. "I see a few of those teams that could tune out the outside world if they felt a good guard was worth it: New Orleans. Seattle. Denver. Detroit."