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Fight looming between Dolphins, Artis Hicks

Artis Hicks

As heavy snow falls, Cleveland Browns guard Artis Hicks (75) walks the field in the closing minutes of the Browns’ 13-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)


As the Dolphins to struggle to win more games, they soon could be struggling to win credibility in a contractual fight with one of the players they recently cut.

Per a league source, Hicks will be pursuing on Monday a grievance challenging the team’s decision to cut him for failing to disclose a pre-existing medical condition.

As the source explains it, the Dolphins seized upon an X-ray that Hicks had on his neck in 2006, when he played for the Vikings, to support the notion that Hicks hid the fact that he now has an acute herniation in the C3-C4 area. Never mind the fact that the X-ray, per the source, showed no herniation or that Hicks continued to play after the X-ray or that he missed no practices or games with the injury or that he even forgot having the X-ray.

Hicks will argue that he should have been placed on injured reserve, which would have entitled him to his salary until receiving medical clearance to play.

The source explained that the Dolphins initially planned to place Hicks on “minor” injured reserve, cutting him loose after he recovered from the effects of a stinger that he suffered during training camp, but Hicks’ camp argued based on a second episode and subsequent second medical opinion that Hicks wouldn’t be healthy because the herniated disc put him at risk of serious injury (including death and/or paralysis) if he took another hit to that area of his spine.

Though an arbitrator will ultimately resolve this one, this is the kind of tactic that could make players even less inclined to sign with the Dolphins in the future.