- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Offensive lineman John Jerry, who figured prominently in last year's Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, met with the media Tuesday for the first time since signing with the New York Giants this offseason.
Jerry said he preferred to talk about his recovery from the knee surgery that kept him out of minicamp, but he did take questions on the Miami affair. He said that he preferred not to address it publicly at this time but that he has addressed it privately with his new teammates.
"At the end of the day, the only people I really care about knowing who I am is the guys in the locker room," Jerry said. "And I think the guys in the locker room have got a pretty good feel for who I am. I came out the same year as J.D. [Walton], and I've been on J.D. pretty good, and he knows the type of person I am. And I've got the chance to talk to some of the guys in the locker room, and we've discussed things like that. So I think they have a pretty good feel for who I am.
"If guys want to know something, I'm more than willing to open up to my teammates."
An NFL investigation last season found that Jerry, along with former teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, engaged in a pattern of graphic harassment of former Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin, another teammate and a member of the team's training staff. The details of the report are alarming and damning, and Jerry said the Giants did ask him questions about it before they decided to sign him.
"I told them everything that went on," Jerry said Tuesday. "I have nothing to lie about, so they know everything."
According to investigator Ted Wells' report, while Incognito admitted to saying the things he was accused of saying, "Jerry downplayed his role in making vulgar comments about Martin's family, and Pouncey denied making or hearing any such remarks. We do not find Jerry and Pouncey credible on these points, largely because both Martin and Incognito, plus other witnesses, agree that these words were in fact said to Martin."
Jerry is obviously aware of what the report says about him, and the fact that he disputes what's in it comes as no surprise because the report itself said he disputes what's in it. Oddly, Jerry hinted that he'd be willing, even eager, to tell his side of the story publicly at some point in the future.
"I'm definitely looking forward to a day when I can open up and tell you guys everything about it," Jerry said. "We'll definitely discuss that in the future."
That would be interesting if it happened. Meanwhile, Jerry said he's not worried about what fans might think of him in light of the Miami incident.
"I can't control that," he said. "People are going to think what they want to think about you. That's something I know is out of my hands. Pretty much all the fans care about is you going out there and performing and getting them W's."
A couple of things could delay or prevent Jerry's ability to do that for the Giants and their fans. First, there is the knee issue, which will limit him in practice for the early part of training camp. Jerry said more than once that he needs to get in "football shape" because the surgery and his recovery from it kept him from being able to run.
Additionally, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that the players cited in Wells' report would have to undergo some sort of psychological evaluation before he decides whether they should face league discipline for their actions. So Jerry could be suspended at some point.
"I'm not going to comment on that because I still don't know what's going on with that, so I don't have anything to say on that," Jerry said.
Once he gets on the field, Jerry is likely to compete with Brandon Mosley and possibly rookie Weston Richburg for the starting right guard spot left vacant by Chris Snee, who announced his retirement Monday.
"I was looking forward to competing with Chris," Jerry said. "Great player, someone I was looking forward to learning a lot from even if I had to sit behind him. So, very sad situation with Chris retiring."
11hEric D. Williams