Richie Incognito

OL Richie Incognito Announces Retirement

Richie Incognito announced Friday he will retire from the NFL. Most recently a member of the Raiders, the veteran guard retired as a member of the team.

Known for both high-level performance and off-field incidents that led to multiple season-long absences, Incognito played from 2005-2020. Incognito caught on with the Raiders in 2019, after missing the 2018 season, and started 12 games. The Raiders reached an extension with the veteran blocker late in 2019 and, after scrapping that deal during the 2021 offseason, came to another agreement with him last year. Incognito did not play last season, with health issues again impeding him, and will call it quits at age 39.

The former Rams third-round pick played 164 career games (all starts) and made four Pro Bowls. Three of those honors came with the Bills, when Incognito helped LeSean McCoy reach two 1,000-yard seasons, but the other came with the Dolphins. Incognito’s Dolphins tenure will probably be what is most remembered about his career, but he capitalized on the additional chances given to him by the Bills and Raiders.

At the center of the bullying scandal involving then-Miami O-lineman Jonathan Martin, Incognito was suspended by the team and did not play in 2014. The NFL’s investigation found Incognito harassed Martin with racial and homophobic remarks. Despite being sidelined in his age-31 season, Incognito came back and signed two Bills contracts — the second of which a three-year, $15.75MM deal during the 2016 offseason. The Nebraska alum played two years on that second Buffalo deal, helping the McCoy- and Tyrod Taylor-driven attack lead the league in rushing in 2016.

The Bills released Incognito during the 2018 offseason, and he claimed he was retiring at that point. A subsequent an altercation at a Florida gym led to Incognito being placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold by police, and an arrest for a separate incident later that offseason led to a second full-season Incognito absence.

The Rams had previously cut Incognito during the 2009 season, after a game during which he received multiple personal foul penalties for headbutting, and he ended up with the Bills initially via waiver claim. The Dolphins gave Incognito a one-year deal in 2010 and extended him in 2011. Prior to the bullying scandal that broke midway through the 2013 season, Incognito started 55 games with the Dolphins.

After the Raiders gave the polarizing lineman another chance in 2019, he helped Josh Jacobs to a 1,150-yard rushing debut — a season in which Oakland ranked in the top 10 in rushing DVOA. The Raiders gave Incognito a two-year, $14MM extension in December 2019, but the early-season foot injury he suffered in 2020’s second game ended up sidelining him for most of that year. A calf injury shut down Incognito for all of the 2021 season.

This was certainly one of the more unique careers in modern O-line history. Despite injuries and controversies, Incognito became the rare lineman to play into his late 30s.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Chiefs, Dupree, Weddle

First-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood had an up-and-down rookie season in Las Vegas. After struggling a bit at right tackle, Leatherwood was moved to guard to fill in after injuries to starters Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the Raiders’ former staff intended to move Leatherwood back to his drafted position next season.

The decision is now out of their hands and in the hands of new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. With Kolton Miller set at left tackle and Andre James filling in admirably this season with the loss of center Rodney Hudson in a trade to the Cardinals last year, the Raiders have three offensive line spots with which to play around. Bricillo’s placement of Leatherwood will likely depend on how they choose to address those open positions.

Here are a few more notes from around the AFC, starting with another note from the West:

Raiders’ Richie Incognito Not Expected To Play This Season

Richie Incognito remains a Raider, but the veteran guard has not played since September 2020. It does not look like the would-be Las Vegas starter will suit up at all this season.

Rich Bisaccia said Friday it is unlikely the 38-year-old blocker returns from injury before season’s end, via The Athletic’s Tashan Reed (on Twitter). Incognito has been on the Raiders’ IR list since late September, this time with a calf injury.

A foot injury led to Incognito missing 14 games last season. He underwent surgery and ended up being released amid the Raiders’ March overhaul of their veteran-laden offensive line. However, the team brought back the controversial O-lineman on a lower-cost deal. Incognito was expected to return as a starter this season, but the ensuing calf issue scuttled those plans.

Re-signed to a $2.1MM deal, Incognito is not signed beyond 2021. Given his recent run of injuries, the prospect of the former Pro Bowler suiting up for another NFL game is in doubt. A Pro Bowler with the Dolphins and Bills during the 2010s, Incognito caught on with the Raiders in 2019 — after missing a second full season in 2018 — and played well. He has started all 164 regular-season games he’s played as a pro.

The Raiders lost both Incognito and his 2020 replacement, Denzelle Good, to injuries. Good suffered a torn ACL in Las Vegas’ opener. Second-year man John Simpson and first-round rookie Alex Leatherwood, converted quickly from right tackle, have been the team’s primary guard starters this season.

Raiders Move G Richie Incognito To IR

Richie Incognito‘s latest injury will move him to injured reserve for the second straight September. After missing the Raiders’ first two games with a calf injury, Incognito is heading to IR, Field Yates of tweets.

This designation will sideline the veteran guard for three more games. The Raiders had already ruled Incognito out for Week 3, after he missed another week of practice. Las Vegas used John Simpson and Jermaine Eluemunor as its starting guards in Week 2.

Incognito’s extended absence follows Denzelle Good‘s IR placement. Good, however, does not have a chance to return this season after suffering an ACL tear during the team’s opening-night victory. Good replaced Incognito after his early-season injury in 2020. Incognito suffered a foot injury that knocked him out for most of last season.

The Raiders made wholesale changes on their offensive line this offseason, and while they initially released Incognito, they kept the 38-year-old blocker around after bringing him back on a pay cut. Incognito was productive for the Raiders in 2019, helping the team deploy one of the league’s best rushing attacks. But the polarizing interior lineman has not been available much since.

OL Rumors: Raiders, 49ers, Giants, Solder, Eagles

The Raiders are tracking to have two starters from their 2020 Week 1 offensive line setup back, with Kolton Miller signed long-term and Richie Incognito back on a lower-cost deal. But spillover from another training camp battle may affect Incognito’s standing. Denzelle Good and John Simpson will vie for the starting right guard spot, but Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic note Raiders coaches have informed the team’s guards the loser of this competition may still wind up replacing Incognito at left guard (subscription required). Incognito, 38, played well in 2019 but missed 14 games due to an Achilles injury last season. The Raiders cut him in March but re-signed him weeks later on a one-year, $2.12MM deal. Good replaced Incognito last year, and the Raiders are hoping Simpson — a 2020 fourth-round pick out of Clemson — can win the right guard competition.

Here is more on the Raiders’ O-line and the latest from some other offensive fronts around the league:

  • Elsewhere on Las Vegas’ O-line, the center spot may not be much of a competition. Despite offseason addition Nick Martin having started four full seasons with the Texans, the former second-round pick appears to be clearly behind former UDFA Andre James, according to The Athletic. After trading Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to the Cardinals, the Raiders gave James an extension. James has played 116 offensive snaps as a pro; all came in 2019.
  • Nate Solder has moved to the Giants‘ roster bubble, according to Jordan Raanan of The 6-foot-8 veteran worked as New York’s starting left tackle in 2018 and ’19, after signing a then-record tackle contract in free agency, but opted out in 2020. The Giants can spread out Solder’s cap hit over multiple years, but they would face a $13.5MM cumulative dead-money charge by cutting Solder. Andrew Thomas has taken over as New York’s left tackle, with Raanan adding that Solder will compete with second-year blocker Matt Peart for the right tackle job. Solder has not been a full-time right tackle since his rookie season in 2011.
  • Although former UDFA Daniel Brunskill provided some stability amid 49ers injury chaos last season, starting 16 games, the team plans to return him to a utility role. The 49ers are eyeing second-round pick Aaron Banks as their starting right guard, Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic note. Brunskill worked as a swing backup as a rookie in 2019, primarily filling in for left tackle Joe Staley. The 49ers selected Banks 48th overall; the 325-pound rookie started in part of his sophomore season and throughout his junior and senior years at Notre Dame.
  • Rather than stockpile depth at tackle, the Eagles may look to trade the loser of the Andre DillardJordan Mailata left tackle competition, Eliot Shorr-Parks writes. While keeping both would provide insurance, Shorr-Parks notes moving Mailata in a contract year would make sense and Dillard may lose more value if he goes through this season as a backup. A 2019 first-round pick, Dillard missed all of last season due to injury and has logged just four career starts. A rugby convert chosen as a project in the 2018 seventh round, Mailata spent two full seasons in development but broke into Philadelphia’s starting lineup for 10 games last season.

This Date In NFL Transactions History: Bills Release Richie Incognito

On this date in 2018, the Bills moved on from their bizarre saga with Richie Incognito. They released the offensive lineman from the reserve/retired list, paving the way for him to play for another team. At the time, no one knew whether the veteran would get that opportunity. 

Incognito, a four-time Pro Bowler and one of the league’s best guards, made headlines for all the wrong reasons throughout his career. In 2013, he was alleged to have bullied and disparaged Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin, which prompted Martin to leave the team and the NFL to suspend Incognito. After missing half of ’13 and all of ’14, he returned to the league with the Bills.

On the field, Incognito continued his excellence. He played every single snap for the Bills in 2015, earned a fresh ~$16MM deal prior to 2016, and graded out as one of the league’s best guards in 2017. The advanced metrics showed that Incognito was elite throughout those three years in Buffalo – he placed No. 2, No, 7, and No. 12 in the league in each of those seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

Then, things turned once again. In March of 2018, Incognito agreed to rework the remainder of his contract, cutting his base salary in half. Weeks later, he fired his agent via Twitter. Then, Incognito retired, citing health issues and dissatisfaction with his deal.

“It pisses me the [expletive] off,” Incognito said. “The contract and all that pissed me [off] and all that, but (retiring) has nothing to do with that.”

The Bills placed Incognito on the retired list on April 12, 2018. On April 15, 2018, he requested his release. Then, on May 21, 2018 – about six weeks after Incognito announced that he was done with football – the Bills granted his request. Two days after that, Incognito caused a scene at a gym in Florida and told police that he believed he was being tracked by FBI agents for his possession of secret NSA documents. One psychiatric hold and a few months later, Incognito was arrested at an Arizona funeral parlor for threatening employees who refused to cut off his father’s head, which he wanted for research purposes.

Most in the football world figured that would mark the end of Incognito’s career, but Jon Gruden gave him another chance to play in 2019. Towards the end of another strong season, the Raiders inked the veteran to a new two-year, $14MM deal. Now, the veteran is in free agency limbo after missing all but two games last year due to injury. There was early chatter that the Raiders could bring him back, but that might not happen in the midst of their OL revamp. It’s not clear how much Incognito has left in the tank, but he’s not far removed from ’19 when he ranked as PFF’s 14th best guard.

Raiders Want John Simpson To Start At RG

The Raiders bid adieu to three high-profile offensive linemen this offseason — center Rodney Hudson, right guard Gabe Jackson, and right tackle Trent Brown — and they didn’t do much to replace them outside of selecting RT Alex Leatherwood with the No. 17 overall pick in the draft, which was probably the most curious of this year’s first-round choices. But Vegas feels good about its young O-line talent, including 2020 fourth-rounder John Simpson.

As Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes, the team would like Simpson to replace Jackson as the starter at right guard (the article was written before the draft, but given that the team’s only high-level OL pick was used on Leatherwood, the club’s expectations with respect to Simpson presumably haven’t changed). The Raiders did re-sign Denzelle Good as a fallback plan if Simpson isn’t ready, and Good also provides some insurance at RT in case Leatherwood should struggle.

Like many 2020 rookies, Simpson was hurt by the lack of offseason workouts last year. He ended up appearing in seven games (two starts), for a total of 252 snaps. The Clemson product did not fare well by Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, finishing with below-average grades in both run-blocking and pass-blocking. Good, though, wasn’t much better, and it’s easy to envision a downturn in the team’s overall O-line performance in 2021.

In the same article, Tafur notes that Richie Incognito — who played in only two games in 2020 due to an ankle injury — is back to full strength. The soon-to-be 38-year-old blocker is the team’s projected starter at left guard, and his experience should be beneficial to presumptive center Andre James, a 2019 UDFA who didn’t play a single offensive snap last year. 2021 seventh-rounder Jimmy Morrissey will also compete for playing time at the pivot.

Raiders Expected To Bring Back Richie Incognito

The Raiders are taking over the NFL’s Wednesday headlines, with their offensive line being the key focus. While they are retooling up front, the team is now expected to have potentially three starters back.

Richie Incognito indicated he will return to the Raiders, via Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. When the Raiders cut the veteran guard earlier this month, he was rumored to be a candidate to re-sign.

Going into his age-38 season, Incognito will rejoin left tackle Kolton Miller and fellow guard Denzelle Good, whom the Raiders also agreed to re-sign Wednesday. Incognito had previously signed a Raiders extension, but after missing 14 games last season due to injury, the team shed that contract. It is likely the polarizing veteran’s latest accord comes in at a lower rate.

While Incognito has missed two full seasons, largely because of off-field issues, he has played well when available. Pro Football Focus has graded the journeyman blocker as a top-25 guard in each of the seasons he has played since 2010. Incognito was 3-for-3 in Pro Bowls with the Bills and helped the Raiders assemble one of the NFL’s best lines upon signing with Oakland in 2019. Despite missing extensive time last year and undergoing a late-season foot surgery, Incognito is believed to be healthy ahead of the Raiders’ offseason program.

Interestingly, Incognito doubled as perhaps the Raiders’ top signing in 2019. The initial Jon GrudenMike Mayock offseason brought Trent Brown, Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner. None remain with the team.

Incognito will return to a new-look O-line. The Raiders have traded both Trent Brown and Rodney Hudson and are trying to trade Gabe Jackson. If the Raiders cannot unload Jackson, who was acquired before the second Gruden regime began, it is likely he will be released.

Raiders To Release G Richie Incognito; Return Expected?

6:01pm: It is not out of the question Incognito returns to the Raiders on a new deal, however. The expectation is the veteran guard re-signs with the team on a lower-cost accord, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets.

5:48pm: The Raiders are making big changes on their offensive line. Following a Gabe Jackson release, Las Vegas plans to cut Richie Incognito, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

Incognito played well in 2019, when the Raiders ended the second of his NFL sabbaticals, and signed an extension late in that season. However, an early-season injury shelved the veteran guard in 2020. Incognito is believed to be healthy and wants to play in 2021, per Rapoport.

An Incognito release will save the Raiders $5.5MM. He was signed only through the 2021 season. The controversial O-lineman played only two games last season, suffering a foot injury that ended up requiring surgery two months later. The Raiders entered Friday with barely $3MM in cap space.

While Incognito is better known for his off-field reputation — the bullying scandal that led him out of Miami and out of the league for the 2014 and another incident that preceded him being out of football in 2018 and left him suspended to start his Raiders tenure — the 37-year-old blocker has been a productive player when available. Pro Football Focus has graded him as a top-25 guard in every season he has played since 2010. Incognito made the Pro Bowl in each of his three Bills seasons — 2015-17 — and helped the Raiders’ 2019 O-line rate as one of the league’s best. That group has splintered this week.

In addition to releasing their Week 1 guard starters from last season, the Raiders are shopping right tackle Trent Brown. The player who took over for Incognito, Denzelle Good, is a free agent. Only left tackle Kolton Miller and standout center Rodney Hudson appear to be on solid ground among Las Vegas’ first-string blockers.

Richie Incognito Won’t Return This Season

Richie Incognito is done for the year. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden revealed today that the offensive lineman underwent “season-ending foot surgery” (per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez).

Incognito landed on IR in late September after suffering an Achilles injury. The veteran avoided a tear, so there was some optimism he’d return to the lineup once his stay on the IR ended. Instead, the 37-year-old decided to go under the knife.

“I hate to admit that, but we’ve tried everything we can,” Gruden said. “Richie’s tried everything he can to get back on the field. His season is over.”

The Raiders took a risk on the polarizing Incognito last offseason, and Incognito’s impressive performance ultimately earned him a two-year $14MM extension. As Gutierrez points out, the organization has only seen three snaps from their pricey offensive line grouping (which also includes Kolton Miller, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown).

Fortunately, the Raiders have received solid production from Incognito’s backup, Denzelle Good. Gruden referred to the former seventh-rounder as the team’s “unsung hero,” while quarterback Derek Carr declared him the team MVP (per Gutierrez).