The Seahawks may have checked in on free agent guard Richie Incognito, but they won’t be signing him, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 (video link). The veteran guard is probably the best interior lineman still available on the open market, but the Jonathan Martin scandal is clearly standing between him and NFL employment. Garafolo added that the Raiders “at least have been keeping tabs” on him and that the Cardinals had “inquired about his availability,” but all indications are that he won’t land in Arizona. Meanwhile, the Seahawks appear poised to roll with J.R. Sweezy and James Carpenter as their starting guards.
Earlier this week, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith was asked if the former Dolphins guard could be a consideration for his team’s shaky offensive line and Smith didn’t rule him out. Incognito recently told Josh Peter of USA Today that his agent had received “a few nibbles” from teams during the offseason, but clubs are ostensibly worried about bringing him into the locker room, the ensuing media attention, and the possibility that he won’t be a 16-game addition. If and when Incognito gets back to football, commissioner Roger Goodell may hit him with a multi-game suspension. After being blasted for his slap on the wrist to Ray Rice, Goodell may come down hard on Incognito.
Incognito has made 102 starts over the course of his career, spending time at both guard spots but lining up exclusively at left guard in recent seasons. Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required) has positively graded each of Incognito’s seasons since 2007. For most of his career, PFF’s statistics indicated that Incognito was a better run-blocker than pass-protector, but since 2012, those data points have flipped. Still, anyway you slice it, Incognito is unquestionably a top-30 guard. Our own Dallas Robinson recently checked in on the free agent stock of one of the league’s most vilified players.