The Miami Dolphins are taking money away from Richie Incognito, who wants to know when he'll get another paycheck. That is the gist of the grievance Incognito has filed against the Dolphins, who have yet to define the length of the veteran guard's suspension.
Here's what we know so far: Incognito is said to be done in Miami. Finished. Kaput. The Dolphins won’t dare bring him back, and Incognito knows it.
But after the suspension is lifted and the Dolphins cut Incognito, they still have to pay him for the rest of the season. So how much money he keeps on his way out of town is still up for debate. That leads to this newest wrinkle in this saga.
The grievance -- reported Thursday by ESPN's Chris Mortensen -- challenges Incognito's status as being “indefinitely” suspended for conduct detrimental to the team in the wake of Jonathan Martin's allegations of bullying and harassment. Incognito would miss out on $1.276 million in salary if the suspension lasts the maximum of four weeks plus one additional game check.
Incognito, 30, was due to make $4 million this season in the final year of his contract with Miami. He would be lucky to make anything close to that in free agency in 2014 -- if any team decides to takes a chance on him following this controversy. This could be Incognito's last significant payday in the NFL, and he is wise to challenge the Dolphins to resume payment of his salary.
The Dolphins, however, do not back down from a legal and financial fight. So expect the two sides to go blow for blow over how much Incognito gets paid in his final weeks with the team.
The Dolphins organization is being hit from all angles. It has a financial grievance with Incognito, possible culpability issues over the treatment of Martin, and faces an investigation by the NFL. Team owner Stephen Ross also is watching over things closely and has put together his own task force -- led by five former coaches and players -- to improve the Dolphins' football culture.
In addition, Martin is expected to meet with the NFL on Friday. Expect many long days and nights for the Dolphins' brass.
The next big date for Incognito and the Dolphins will be Dec. 2. That is when a maximum four-game suspension would reach its conclusion. Miami must bring Incognito back to the 53-man roster, which is not likely, or release him, pay the rest of his salary and allow him the freedom to seek employment with another team.
More and more, this is looking like a situation in which there will be no true winners.