On his first day as a Raider, Richie Incognito worked with the team’s first-string offensive line. The Raiders have a need at left guard, after trading Kelechi Osemele for a minimal return. The Raiders have picked a controversial player to potentially replace him, but they are not certain a suspension is in the works.
“There’s a chance there could be league discipline,” Mike Mayock said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “We don’t know what it will be, but it’s a one-year minimum prove-it deal, and we feel that he’s incentivized properly to stay straight. We can’t control what the NFL will do.”
As far as the contradiction between the Raiders’ prioritizing high-character players in Mayock’s first draft with the team and subsequently signing Incognito, the first-year GM said the Raiders have spoken with many about signing the embattled 35-year-old blocker. Ten Raiders staffers also observed the workout that landed Incognito this latest opportunity.
“It’s a fair question. Both Jon (Gruden) and I have talked a lot about foundation. We have reinforced that with our draft. At the end of the day, you can’t have all Boy Scouts,” Mayock said. “You have to do your homework in each individual case. We’ve done our homework. We’ve talked to an awful lot of people. We talked to Richie and told him what we expect on and off the field and we’ll expect him to adhere to that. … The infrastructure will be here for him to use.”
Days after his release from the Bills last year, Florida cops placed Incognito in a mental hospital after he hurled weights at a gym and told officers that the government is spying on him. Incognito claimed that he drew interest even after that event, but as far as we know, the Raiders were the only team to show any interest in him this year. Incognito pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from his August 2018 arrest for an incident at an Arizona funeral home. The turbulent 2018 points to a likely 2019 suspension.
Prior to the bullying scandal that led to his exit from Miami and a season (2014) out of football, Incognito had a divisive reputation with the Rams. They released him midway through the 2009 season. He became an high-level guard with the Bills, making the Pro Bowl in each of his three Buffalo seasons before missing another full season in 2018.
He will nevertheless receive another chance. The Raiders had a glaring need at left guard, with Denzelle Good previously penciled in as the starter there.
“We have done a one-year, prove-it deal with him and that means both on and off the field,” Mayock said. “There are some expectations he has to meet in both areas. He turns 36 in July. We think he’s going to be a good football player and allow himself to compete for the left guard job.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.