(Reuters) - Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito, one of the central figures in a bullying saga engulfing the team, will continue his indefinite suspension but will now receive pay, the National Football League (NFL) Network reported on Friday.
The Dolphins reached an agreement with Incognito to extend the offensive lineman’s ban while NFL appointee Ted Wells completes his independent investigation into the team’s workplace, according to the network.
Asked by Reuters on Friday to confirm a new agreement had been reached with the embattled player, a Dolphins spokesman replied: “We don’t have a comment at this time.”
Incognito was suspended indefinitely by Miami on November 3 for detrimental conduct after being singled out by tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team in emotional distress over what he later alleged to be bullying and harassment.
According to NFL rules, the maximum a player can be banned by a team for detrimental conduct is four games. A suspension lasting longer than that must be league-mandated, according to a report on the NFL’s website.
The final game of Incognito’s initial ban takes place on Sunday against the New York Jets.
Incognito, who is losing over $235,000 for every game he is suspended, filed a grievance against the Dolphins earlier this month for the indefinite suspension. A hearing on the grievance was scheduled to be heard by an independent arbitrator last week but the player agreed to postpone that hearing until Wells’ investigation was complete.
Wells, a noted New York attorney with experience in sports cases, was appointed by the league to determine if there was any misconduct in the Dolphins’ workplace.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry