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Richie Incognito makes pitch to join Oakland Raiders

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Richie Incognito and Antonio Smith don't like each other one bit
Richie Incognito and Antonio Smith don't like each other one bit

The most talented offensive lineman still on the market is most certainly former Dolphins guard, Richie Incognito. But there is a reason he is still on the market. It's because of the controversy that surrounded his alleged bullying of former teammate, Jonathan Martin. That scandal didn't really come out of nowhere either. He has long been known as one of the NFL's dirtiest players.

With the Raiders looking for help to bolster their offensive line this off-season, the idea of Incognito joining the Raiders seems an enticing one. NFL.com's Mike Silver spoke with the troubled offensive lineman recently and asked him about the possibility of joining the Raiders.

"I'm 100 percent into that," said Incognito. "I think that would fit my personality the best. It makes so much sense. I know (offensive coordinator Greg) Olson and (offensive line coach Tony) Sparano, and I'm a loyal guy, and I'd love to play for them again. And, of course, the Raiders have that aura."

The familiarity with the coaches aside, his idea of what the Raiders represent may be a bit outdated. In Al Davis' time, he would absolutely have been courted by the Raiders, and likely would have been signed.

The new regime has changed that culture. Things are quite different now. Reggie McKenzie's vision of the personality of this team no longer meshes with players like Incognito, regardless of how talented he is.

Then there's the history Incognito has with current Raiders players. When you're considered the NFL's dirtiest player, you're going to ruffle a few feathers. But one player in particular has had some serious run-ins with Incognito recently.

The Raiders just last week signed former Houston Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith who last season was suspended three games after he and Incognito got into an altercation in a preseason game resulting in Smith ripping off Incognito's helmet and swinging at him.

Antoniosmith_medium

That was carryover from the previous season when Smith was fined $11,000 after kicking Incognito in the season opener.

"We don't have a great history," Incognito said of Smith, "but I'll go up there and play with him and try to win a Super Bowl. I used to go work out with him... so I know him very well. I'm too rambunctious when I play my friends."

For the record, he also calls Jonathan Martin a friend. With friends like that...

Being unemployed at the age of 30 can be scary for an NFL player. He has just a couple more seasons left in his football career and would very much like to have a team to call home. For that reason, I'm sure he'd be on his best behavior. And for THAT reason, I believe a team will eventually sign him. But it will be out of desperation, most likely due to injury.

The Raiders have made a move in free agency to fill the left guard position by signing Kevin Boothe, formerly of the Giants. They also re-signed Khalif Barnes who played the final five games of last season at left guard.

For all these reasons, it's hard to imagine the Raiders flirting with the idea of signing Incognito.