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NFL roundup: Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito drama; Roman Harper released

The Jonathan Martin vs. Richie Incognito saga continued, the New Orleans Saints parted ways with multiple players, including Roman Harper and more you might have missed from Wednesday in the NFL.


The Jonathan Martin situation doesn't seem as though it will end any time soon. On Wednesday, two pieces of news came out regarding Martin, one of which was rather negative and the other was essentially neutral. The negative piece had to do with Richie Incognitowho took to Twitter to vent his multiple frustrations with the situation to this point.

Incognito, who is hoping to return to football in 2014 as a free agent and who almost certainly will not be re-signing with the Miami Dolphins, said that Martin once confided in him that he was considering suicide last season due to poor play. He also said that Martin's lies are going to get him into trouble and that the truth would come out.

In short, Incognito is pretty sure that he's done nothing wrong in the way he conducted himself around, on the phone and in text form to his close, personal friend, Martin. The full list of Tweets can be found over at The Phinsider, though we'll embed a couple below:

If you are still somewhat in the dark about this, what's known is that Martin had an "emotional breakdown" in late October and left the team. From there, he asserted that there was bullying going on within the Dolphins organization, and that after taking issues to the team's higher-ups, he was told to defend himself. Martin says that Incognito is the primary source of the bullying, and neither finished the season playing football, with Martin still away and Incognito suspended.

We've got a stream with the long, depressing saga here.

The other news was that Martin was indeed targeting a return to football in 2014. There's been some talk that perhaps Martin can't handle the pressure of the NFL or that, especially after this incident, it will be hard to find a team for the coming season. But Wednesday's report actually suggested that it was "not impossible" that Martin return to Miami.

Here's what else you might have missed from Wednesday in the NFL:

Harper released by Saints

The New Orleans Saints have released safety Roman Harper. It's not surprising that Harper has been released, given that he had two years remaining on a contract that was paying him above what he was able to show on the field and the fact that the Saints are in big trouble when it comes to the salary cap. But it's a big deal given what Harper has been able to do in a Saints uniform. He helped them turn into something special, and gave them a new wrinkle: actual, factual strong defensive play.

The move wasn't exactly unexpected however, though Harper did want to stay, as noted by Canal Street Chronciles:

Opinions of Roman Harper's performance have varied among Saints fans, though common topics of recent conversation include his stream of motivational tweets, and his grey hair making him appear older than his thirty years (he turned 31 in December).  The strong safety has been in this league long enough to know that he was on the chopping block, but he loves the Saints and clearly wanted to stay.

Saints also parting with Smith, Vilma and Greer

Did we mention that the Saints are strapped for cap space? After the release of Harper, the team announced three more wouldn't be returning Jabari Greer, Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, as noted by Canal Street Chronicles. Smith was a dominant defensive lineman for nearly a decade, Vilma is a free agent who isn't going to get an offer from the Saints, but was excellent in his many years with the team, and Greer is being released to save cap space. New Orleans saved roughly $16.9 million from their 2014 cap with the cuts.

Kansas City willing to let Albert walk

The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly made the decision to let offensive tackle Branden Albert sign elsewhere this offseason. Albert is set to hit the open market when the new league year begins, and will demand a top dollar contract. The Chiefs do have some cap room, but it would be tough for them to find the money to keep someone that's going to command a top-flight left tackle contract. As noted by Arrowhead Pride, Eric Fisher is likely the future at that position, and it makes sense for Kansas City to go all in on him:

We have been waiting on this news. Given the investment inEric Fisher and the overall health of the Chiefs salary cap, it wasn't very feasible to give Albert a big contract or slap the franchise tag on him again to the tune of approximately $11.8 million.

As we talked about on 610 Sports shortly after Parkins broke the news, the question is not so much about total dollars as it is the value. Is Albert at nearly $12 million a better value than Donald Stephenson at $570,000? No, he is not. Stephenson is the better value even if he's not necessarily the better player.

Broncos extend Elway

The Denver Broncos gave John Elway a three-year contract extension on Wednesday, which will likely result in a pay raise. In addition to that, the team added the "general manager" label to his job description. Things are looking good for Elway at this point, though the Broncos fell short of a title this year, losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Elway will now be with the team through 2017, though it's unclear if he has more power to go along with his new title. Over at Mile High Report, they're pretty excited of the move, and are far beyond the thinking that Elway was ever considered a PR stunt.

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