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Sources: Dolphins’ Richie Incognito sent racist texts

Richie Incognito, who’s in the final year of a $13 million, three-year contract, has long had a reputation of being among the NFL’s dirtiest playersAP/File

DAVIE, Fla. — In the stadium program sold at the Miami Dolphins’ game on Halloween, Richie Incognito was asked who’s the easiest teammate to scare. His answer: Jonathan Martin.

The troubled, troubling relationship between the two linemen took an ominous turn Monday with fresh revelations: Incognito sent text messages to his teammate that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins and NFL haven’t disclosed the nature of the misconduct that led to Sunday’s suspension of Incognito, a veteran with a reputation for dirty play.

Martin, a tackle, remained absent Monday one week after he suddenly left the team because of emotional issues. Also missing was Incognito, a guard suspended indefinitely late Sunday by coach Joe Philbin for his treatment of Martin.


Agents for the two players didn’t respond to requests for comment. Martin is with his family in Los Angeles.

The 319-pound Incognito, a ninth-year pro, is white. The 312-pound Martin, who is in his second NFL season, is black. For much of the season, they’ve played side by side.

The team and NFL continued their investigation into allegations by Martin’s representatives that he was bullied, and Philbin said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross asked league commissioner Roger Goodell for assistance. The NFL Players Association also planned to look into the matter.

After beating Cincinnati Thursday, the Dolphins had three days off while the Martin story mushroomed. They returned to practice Monday and found nearly 100 media members in the locker room.

Teammates praised both Incognito and Martin and expressed regret regarding their absences, but said it was time to get on with business.

‘‘The only thing affecting us is we can’t even get dressed,’’ said receiver Mike Wallace as he surveyed the media throng.


Wallace said he found Incognito to be intense but a good teammate.

Incognito, who’s in the final year of a $13 million, three-year contract, has long had a reputation of being among the NFL’s dirtiest players. During his first four years, he led the league in penalties for unnecessary roughness, and the Rams got fed up with his undisciplined play and released him during the 2009 season.

‘‘There’s certain people out there who are just punks, and he wants to be that kind of guy,’’ former Seahawks and Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson said. ‘‘But because he’s a lineman, he gets away with a lot of stuff that people don’t see. Incognito is way worse than anybody I ever played against.’’