The bullying allegations against Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito potentially raise a troubling inconsistency for the franchise.
Incognito came to the team with a checkered past -- including getting kicked off the Nebraska and Oregon football teams -- so did the Dolphins devote sufficient resources to watching him?
That he was a member of the team's leadership council, and last season was given the Good Guy award by the beat writers who cover the team, underscore the conflicting feelings within the building about Incognito, who is accused of threatening and harassing fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito has been suspended from the team indefinitely.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com suggests it's conceivable that the bullying could be systematic with the Dolphins, raising the possibility that Incognito could have been used by people higher up in the franchise to toughen up Martin. It's an intriguing scenario, and one that presumably would be checked out as part of a thorough NFL investigation.
On Monday, Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman praised Incognito, saying: "He was a hard worker. He came out here every day and worked hard. He worked extremely, extremely hard and did what I asked him to do."
Asked if Martin ever came to him with concerns about Incognito, Sherman declined to say.
"All that stuff in relationship to that, I'm going to leave to Coach [Joe] Philbin to answer those questions," Sherman said. "It is under review by the National Football League and I'll just leave it at that."