- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins simply could not handle the distraction of bringing Richie Incognito back to the team on Monday, when his four-game suspension was scheduled to end. Incognito also had a solid grievance case, because the Dolphins were withholding pay even though the NFL investigation of the bullying scandal involving Incognito and teammate Jonathan Martin is not complete.
That is why the Dolphins and Incognito made the correct move to reach a middle ground with a paid two-week extension of his suspension.
Incognito will earn just less than $1 million from the Dolphins during his time away from the team. That includes two game checks that would've been denied under the original suspension, plus the extended two games of the suspension, against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.
For the Dolphins, it buys time for NFL lead investigator Ted Wells to complete his review of the Incognito-Martin bullying scandal by Dec. 16. The Dolphins will be able to make a better-informed decision at that time. The extension works out for both parties.
Still, chances remain slim that Incognito will return to Miami's locker room, regardless of the NFL's findings. Incognito will be an unrestricted free agent in 2014, and there will be only two games remaining following the new agreement on the suspension.
The Incognito-Martin controversy has many layers, and there still remains plenty of gray area that the NFL must get to the bottom of. But in the end, Incognito, Martin and the Dolphins are all likely to go their separate ways.