Incognito struck deal to extend ban, get partial pay, return this year

Suspended Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito has agreed to extend his four-game ban up to two more weeks in exchange for getting paid for four of those six games, plus the opportunity to return this season, sources told Fox Sports.

The Dolphins agreed to pay Incognito, who was initially suspended four weeks without pay, for two of those weeks. That four-week period was to end after this upcoming weekend, which is Week 13 of the NFL schedule. Under the collective-bargaining agreement, teams can suspend players without pay for a maximum of four weeks, which is why this weekend was a deadline of sorts in this case.

However, Incognito already has agreed to allow a maximum of two additional weeks of suspension (Weeks 14 and 15) with pay. This agreement gives the league’s appointed investigator Ted Wells more time to conduct his investigation.

Wells already has met with Jonathan Martin, who has accused Incognito and other Dolphins linemen of bullying him before he left the team in late October following a prank pulled by Incognito and other teammates.

The key for Incognito is there is no firm agreement in place on how to handle the final two weeks of the regular season. That means, if Wells’ investigation returns favorably for Incognito, there’s a chance he’ll come back to the Dolphins for at least two games.

The team is competing for a playoff spot, so any games in January also are a possibility for Incognito, who is set to be a free agent after the season and wants to rebuild his reputation as a player and teammate before then.

So in exchange for waiving his right to a grievance, Incognito got money and perhaps a brighter future. He also reserves the right to continue the grievance for the final two paychecks at some point in the future.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins, Wells and the NFL got more time to figure out what happened and how to handle it going forward.