Raiders Add Another Tenacious Veteran to the Offensive Line
By Kenny King
The Oakland Raiders are a team that is synonymous with Castoffs, loose cannons and journeymen and with the addition of veteran offensive guard, Richie Incognito the Raiders have held to tradition.
The Oakland Raiders have signed Richie Incognito, who is coming fresh off of a year of retirement where he retired, unretired and was released by the Buffalo Bills. After taking a year off to focus on his mental and physical health, the 14 year veteran lineman has decided to make return to the NFL.
At 6 foot-3 inches and 320 lbs., Incognito is a dominant offensive lineman who is known for being a mauler and a fierce trench player that fits in perfectly with the beefed up Raiders line.
The former 2015 all pro and 4 time pro bowler will compete for the starting left guard position that has been vacated by Kelechi Osemele who was traded to the New York Jets at the start of the new league year.
Clearly, Incognito’s history on the field has garnered tremendous success and praise, but did not come without negative press as Incognito was voted one of the dirtiest players in the NFL by his peers.
The questions that are raised with the signing are geared toward the off-field behavior. In 2013, Incognito was linked to the bullying scandal of disgraced former NFL player Jonathan Martin (who later made threats to commit a shooting at his former high school), Incognito was suspended for 3 months during the investigation and ultimately sat for the 2014 season before signing with Buffalo in 2015.
More recently, in 2018, Incognito was involved in an altercation at a Lifetime fitness in Boca Raton Florida, where he made statements that he was being spied on and became hostile throwing tennis balls and dumbbells at another member, Incognito was placed under involuntary psychiatric hold.
Also in 2018, after Incognito’s father passed away, Richie entered the funeral parlor and stated that he wanted to cut his father’s head off to “for research purposes”, he was taken into custody and police located two handguns in his vehicle.
This will be a move that will be met with mixed emotions and rightfully so, when Mike Mayock said he wanted to bring in high character players but then brings in Incognito who has a history of on and off-field incidents some will scratch their heads while others will look at it purely from a football standpoint that the player is a mauler and will add a veteran who should be a starter.
There is no question as to how good of a player Incognito is, and if healthy, the impact that he could make to a revamped offensive line. Richie Incognito brings a nastiness to Derek Carr’s blind side that hopefully rubs off on 2nd year tackle Kolton Miller.
If Incognito is healthy physically and mentally, he can be a great addition to a Raiders offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last season. Given the parameters around his last season, this should be a low risk potentially high reward scenario for the Raiders and the perfect opportunity for Richie Incognito to reinvent himself in the NFL.