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Copyright 2014 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
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Palm Beach Post (Florida)
By Hal Habib Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The buckle-your-seat belt emotional roller coaster ride Richie Incognito has been on since last fall took an even stranger turn Thursday morning when he told police that damage inflicted on his new Ferrari was done by Incognito himself.

Police in Incognito's hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz., confirmed to The Post that they were tipped off by TMZ.com on Wednesday that someone had vandalized the black sportscar parked outside Incognito's home. But when an officer visited the address, he did not find the car and received no answer at the door. Thursday morning, Incognito told an officer he damaged the car and did not wish to file a report.

TMZ posted a photo showing a bat lying in front of the car, a piece of the bat in the grill, and damage done to the car's hood.

It was not known what triggered the outburst in Incognito, whose emotional swings have been displayed via Twitter, although he now appears to be on hiatus from tweeting. A message left for Incognito's agent, David Dunn, was not returned.

Early last season, Incognito told NFL.com he was taking Paxil, a medication used to treat disorders including depression and anxiety.

Incognito took delivery of the car, with a list price of about $295,000, in November, at the height of the bullying scandal involving Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin.

Incognito's NFL career has been in limbo since he was suspended by the Dolphins for his role in the Martin bullying scandal, which escalated Oct. 28 when Martin walked out on the team following a prank in the team cafeteria.

TMZ said it obtained court documents showing that three days later, Incognito's parents filed for divorce. In the documents, Incognito's father said Richie was supporting the family.

Although he was portrayed in Ted Wells' report as the ringleader in harassment directed upon Martin, Incognito continues to have support within the locker room. Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, voiced support for Incognito as well as two men fired by the club: offensive line coach Jim Turner and trainer Kevin O'Neill.

Clabo said situations described in the Wells report simply don't translate from what players experienced at the time.

"When you're in a situation, as it's happening, you think this is one of the funniest things I've ever been a part of," Clabo said. "It's hilarious and everybody's laughing, just falling out of their chair laughing so hard. Then you go and you try to explain it or tell the joke after the fact and people don't think it's funny. At the time, this stuff was hilarious, but it doesn't transfer over into the real world, I guess."

Incognito was named a Pro Bowl replacement after the 2012 season and would have been honored again, Clabo said.

"Richie was going to make the Pro Bowl," Clabo said. "He was playing at a really high level. He made it the year before and he definitely wasn't playing any worse."

Pro Football Focus rated Incognito tied for 24th among 81 guards. He allowed six sacks in eight games, according to PFF. Only five guards allowed more in 2013.

Clabo also stood up for Turner, whom Wells described as complicit in harassment.

"Jim Turner is one of the best coaches I've had the pleasure of being around and for him to lose his job is unfortunate," Clabo said.

Clabo was asked if, given all that has occurred, it wouldn't be best if he signed elsewhere. Like Incognito, Clabo is about to become a free agent.

"That's hard to say without being here and knowing what's going to happen," Clabo said. "If it's time for me to go somewhere else, then that's what we'll do."

hhabib@pbpost.com Twitter: @gunnerhal

 

February 28, 2014

 

 
 

 

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