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NFL notebook: Lawyer says bullying allegations off base

Associated Press

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Richie Incognito and his representative had plenty to say on Thursday in a rebuttal to Jonathan Martin’s recent claims that Incognito’s behavior forced him to leave the Miami Dolphins in late October.

During an interview with NBC, Martin continued to paint Incognito, his former teammate, as a bully, and claimed the Dolphins coaches knew he was having issues with teammates. He’s consistently used a series of racially charged and threatening text messages and voice mails as his evidence against Incognito.

But according to Mark Schamel, Incognito’s lawyer, Martin’s characterization of his relationship with Incognito, and his role in their vile back-and-forth communication, is off base. In communications that were provided to Ted Wells, who leads the NFL’s independent investigation into the bullying saga, Schamel claims Martin sent text messages to Incognito that threatened to send someone over to Incognito’s home with a “tranquilizer gun and sandpaper condoms” to rape him. Schamel claims there was also a threat to kill Incognito’s whole family, and a statement where Martin indicated he would ejaculate in Incognito’s face.

“Rather than deal with his poor on field performance and myriad other issues, Martin is now hiding behind false allegations,” said Schamel.

Incognito returned to social media Thursday and made a public plea for work, tweeting out “I need a job.”

CONCUSSIONS DIP — The number of concussions in the NFL dropped 13 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to data the league released Thursday and touted as a result of its efforts to better protect players’ heads. Using information collected from team doctors during preseason and regular-season practices and games, the NFL also said there was a 23 percent decrease over the past two seasons in the number of concussions caused by helmet-to-helmet contact. Concussions rose nearly 4 percent from 2011 to 2012 — 252 to 261 — before lowering to 228 this past season.

‘NFL NOW’ — The NFL, a more than $9 billion a year business, is seeking new revenues from the mobile advertising market. The league will launch a digital video service called “NFL Now” this summer, which will offer game highlights, archived NFL Films footage and original programs.

JOINS TITANS — After playing for Ken Whisenhunt with the Arizona Cardinals, Nick Eason was named assistant defensive line coach of the Tennessee Titans.


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