Richie Incognito

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.

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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.

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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).

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Raiders To Place Richie Incognito On IR

Although Richie Incognito avoided an Achilles tear, he will not return to the Raiders’ starting lineup for a while. The Raiders are placing the veteran guard on IR, Field Yates of tweets.

Incognito left Monday night’s game with an Achilles injury and will be out until at least Week 6. The Raiders moved rookie John Simpson into Incognito’s left guard spot against the Saints, pointing to the fourth-round Clemson product making a Week 3 start.

The Raiders gambled on the polarizing Incognito in free agency last year and were rewarded when the experienced blocker helped the team form one of the league’s top offensive lines. The Raiders then extended the 37-year-old guard through the 2021 season.

Viewed as a potential player who could replace offseason trade chip Gabe Jackson, Simpson instead saw time opposite Jackson in New Orleans. Pro Football Focus rated Incognito as one of its better guards last season, viewing him as an elite pass-blocking guard, and again had him off to a good start in 2020. Prior to Incognito missing the 2018 season amid more off-field trouble, he went to three straight Pro Bowls as a member of the Bills.

Las Vegas will fill Incognito’s roster spot with Patrick Omameh, a veteran guard who has made 57 career starts in eight NFL seasons. The Raiders added Omameh to their practice squad ahead of their Week 2 game.

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AFC West Notes: Bolts, Broncos, Incognito

Tyrod Taylor could be on the verge of being benched in September for a second time in three seasons. A chest injury he was battling caused Justin Herbert to be called upon Sunday, and’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Taylor received a pregame injection to the area (Twitter link). Complications ensued, prompting Chargers HC Anthony Lynn to call on Herbert. While the No. 6 overall pick fared better than could be expected, given the lack of offseason prep time, Lynn has not named him the Chargers’ Week 3 starter. The fourth-year coach said he will turn back to Taylor when he is “100%” recovered from the chest setback.

Whether “100%” will be how the Bolts justify keeping Herbert in the lineup or not, it would seem difficult for the team to give the job back to its bridge starter. The Chargers drafted a quarterback in the first four rounds for the first time since 2006 and saw him throw for 311 yards in an overtime loss, making it entirely possible Taylor is benched again. The Browns sidelined Taylor after three starts in 2017.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Von Miller has not given up on returning this season. The Broncos‘ future Hall of Fame linebacker has been studying how some non-NFL athletes returned in three months from the injury he suffered — as opposed to the four- to six-month timetable he was given after suffering a dislocated peroneal tendon — and has told teammates he could return in mid-December, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. However, since this report surfaced, the Broncos lost Drew Lock for perhaps more than a month and Courtland Sutton for the season. They are already down A.J. Bouye and Phillip Lindsay for the foreseeable future, making a playoff run more difficult to envision. As for Miller’s long-term future, the 31-year-old pass rusher has told teammates he is eyeing five or six more seasons, per La Canfora. This tracks with previous Miller plans.
  • Speaking of Lindsay, the Pro Bowl running back will almost certainly miss Week 3 and may be out longer. Rather than turf toe, Lindsay is dealing with a toe sprain, Rapoport notes. This represents a tough break for the UDFA success story, who was discussing an extension shortly after last season’s conclusion. However, the Broncos instead opted to sign Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $8MM deal. Lindsay is set for restricted free agency in 2021.
  • Brandon McManus‘ four-year, $17MM Broncos extension will guarantee the Denver kicker $4MM in 2021, but Mike Klis of 9News notes the deal’s final three seasons are not guaranteed (Twitter link). McManus is due to earn base salaries of $3MM (2022), $3.75MM (’23) and $3.95MM (’24) over the course of the deal, which also came with a $2.5MM signing bonus. The Broncos have used McManus as their kicker since 2014 but are not committed to him beyond 2021.
  • Richie Incognito left Monday night’s Raiders win with an Achilles issue, but the veteran guard may not miss any time. Incognito aggravated a previous injury but did not suffer a tear, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. The Raiders were already down right tackle Trent Brown, due to a reportedly not serious calf injury, and backup tackle Sam Young against the Saints.

This Date In NFL Transactions History: Bills Release Richie Incognito

Two years ago, 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 last year. Towards the end of another strong season, the Raiders inked the veteran to a two-year, $14MM deal, set to begin this fall.

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Raiders, Richie Incongito Agree To Extension

The Raiders and veteran guard Richie Incognito have agreed to an extension, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports first reported (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of tweets that it will be a two-year, $14MM pact, including $6.35MM guaranteed.

It has been quite the turnaround for the 36-year-old, who, in 2018, agreed to a pay cut with the Bills only to “retire” for a short time and force his release from Buffalo. Days after his release, Florida police placed Incognito in a mental hospital after he hurled weights at a gym and told officers that the government is spying on him. Incognito pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from his August 2018 arrest for an incident at an Arizona funeral home, and that’s not to mention the bullying scandal that led to his exit from the Dolphins and a season (2014) out of football.

The Raiders took a chance on Incognito by signing him to a veteran minimum pact in May, and they got a strong return on their investment. After missing the first two games of the 2019 campaign due to a suspension for his off-field behavior, Incognito turned in an excellent season, paving the way for rookie RB Josh Jacobs while keeping QB Derek Carr clean. Advanced metrics were especially fond of his work, rating him as one of the best guards in the league.

As they move to Las Vegas, the Raiders will hope that the four-time Pro Bowler can stay on the straight and narrow and continue to be a force on their O-line.

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Raiders, Richie Incognito Eyeing Extension

Richie Incognito‘s return from a second full season away from football has gone well. The veteran guard has helped revitalize the Raiders’ offensive line, despite being a mid-offseason pickup.

Although Incognito is the NFL’s oldest active guard at 36, the Raiders do not want this to be a one-year partnership. The team would like to extend Incognito for the 2020 season, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Incognito would prefer that as well.

The sides have discussed the parameters of a deal, per Tafur, but since Incognito signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum in late May, NFL rules stipulate he cannot re-sign with the Raiders until 2020. A re-up would surely result in a raise for the veteran blocker, considering he’s making barely $1MM this season.

Incognito missed the Raiders’ first two games due to a suspension but has thrived since. The former Rams, Dolphins and Bills blocker grades as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 overall guard. Taking over Kelechi Osemele‘s former post, Incognito has helped Josh Jacobs (923 yards, 4.8 per carry) become perhaps the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year favorite and keep Derek Carr clean. Football Outsiders’ chief run-blocking metric, adjusted line yards, rates the Raiders fourth; Oakland’s 15 sacks allowed ranks second in the league.

Should Incognito make the Pro Bowl, it would make him the oldest guard to be honored as such since Bruce Matthews and Ray Brown 18 years ago. While Incognito’s polarizing past and suspension history makes him far from a sure bet, Tafur adds the Raiders have been pleased with him as a locker room leader during this 6-4 start. Jon Gruden called the player most associated with the 2013 Bullygate scandal a “steadying force” for the team.

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Raiders C Rodney Hudson To Miss Time

Raiders center Rodney Hudson is expected to miss time while dealing with an ankle injury, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

Hudson isn’t the only Oakland center sidelined by an ankle issue — backup Andre James is also battling a sprain, and he too could miss the Raiders’ Week 9 game against the Raiders. If neither Hudson nor James can play on Sunday, veteran left guard Richie Incognito will likely slide to center and play the pivot for the first time since 2010, tweets Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Fellow center Erik Magnuson, signed earlier today, may also be in contention to start in the middle of Oakland’s front five.

Hudson isn’t going on injured reserve, an indication the Raiders don’t believe his injury to be a long-term issue. But there’s no question the veteran center’s presence will be missed for however long he remains sidelined. Oakland, which has a 21% chance of earning a postseason berth per, already had its bye in Week 6, so there’s no free week for Hudson to get healthy late in the season.

Midway through his ninth NFL campaign (and fifth in Oakland), Hudson is still playing like one of the NFL’s best centers. Through seven starts, Hudson grades as the league’s third-best pivot, per Pro Football Focus, which ranks Hudson as the NFL’s No. 2 pass-blocking center behind only Cleveland’s J.C. Tretter. As a unit, the Raiders’ offensive line ranks top-four in both pass-blocking and run-blocking, according to Football Outsiders‘ adjusted yards metrics.

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NFL Suspends Raiders’ Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito will have to wait a little while before making his Raiders debut. On Friday, the league suspended the offensive lineman for two games, per an NFL press release.

The suspension was long anticipated. This ban, in particular, stems from Incognito’s funeral home incident of last year. Incognito pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from the August 2018 arrest.

According to the arrest report, funeral home employees say the former Pro Bowler wanted his father’s head cut off for research purposes and walked through the funeral home punching caskets and throwing objects. Incognito also made a gun gesture towards an employee and told him that he had guns in his truck. When police searched Incognito’s car, they found a tan Glock 17 9mm handgun, a black Glock 35 .40-caliber handgun, three rifles and four magazines.

Incognito’s off-the-field behavior has been troubling, to say the least, but he could prove to be a strong addition to the team’s offensive line if he stays on the straight and narrow. If he sticks on the roster, he’ll be eligible to debut in Week 3 when the Raiders face the Vikings.

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