Monday the Raiders hosted former Bills guard Richie Incognito for a visit as the team tries to figure out whether to add some competition at the left guard position. It made some waves because of Incognito’s checkered past that had him suspended for the entire 2014 season and ensured no team signed him all of last season.
Approaching 36, Incognito is hoping to play again this season after a year away. The Raiders have a need and offensive line coach Tom Cable seems to think the volatile Incognito could fill it. He worked out for the team today, but reportedly left without a deal, though one could still be struck.
One sticking point could be possible league discipline for Incognito the moment he tries to play again.
Incognito pled guilty last month to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, stemming from an August incident at a funeral home after his father’s death. He has been out of the NFL for over a year, so may take a bit for league to gather info and hand down a decision.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 6, 2019
Gruden should be leery of signing players with pending suspensions. Just last year the Raiders traded for Martavis Bryant who they would waive in the final roster cuts knowing a suspension was coming. That suspension came down at midseason and caused Jon Gruden plenty of headaches with how often he missed practice with migraines.
Incognito brings a different kind of headache to the locker room that doesn’t fit with the team’s new emphasis on strong character. Whether they reach a deal will tell us whether they are willing to forgive his checkered past and potentially toxic presence in the locker room in favor of filling a need on the field.