Though his time with the organization was short, it always felt like Richie Incognito was born to play for the Las Vegas Raiders. Between his eccentric personality off the field and physical playing style on it, Incognito embodied what it meant to be a Raider, especially as an offensive lineman.
After being out of the league for a year, in 2019 then-general manager Mike Mayock and then-head coach Jon Gruden signed the veteran offensive lineman to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. He ranked second among guards with an 88.5 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus that season and posted a 74.0 overall mark, which helped him earn a two-year, $12.7 million extension at season’s end.
However, leg injuries limited Incognito to just two games during those two years and likely played a factor in why he was unsigned as a free agent this offseason.
In a personal letter posted on the Raiders’ website, the 39-year-old has announced his retirement from the NFL.
“Since I played my first snap at 12 years old, nothing in my life was more important than football. The game always came first,” Incognito wrote.
“Football has taught me a strong work ethic, a willingness to get better every day and a desire to continue growing. It has taught me that while what you get is important, who you become is more important. All of these lessons I’ll take with me into the next chapter.
“Because today, I’m officially retiring from the NFL.
“...After stepping away from football in 2018, I knew if I came back, it would be to finish out my career on my terms. It also had to be with the right team, which I found in the Raiders. There’s always hesitancy in coming back when you’ve been out of the game, but after a tryout with the Raiders, I immediately knew it was the place for me. It made me hungry to come back.
“It felt like home the minute I got here...I’d gotten this “bad boy” reputation, but it just fit with the Raiders. They trusted who I was, and they let me play. And I played my ass off just to repay them for the opportunity.”
Incognito would go on to single out a few teammates like Maxx Crosby, Kolton Miller, Andre James and Hunter Renfrow, while talking about the brotherhood and camaraderie he’s had with teammates, and the full letter can be read via the link above.
The four-time Pro Bowler was drafted in the third round out of Nebraska by the then-St. Louis Rams and had stops with the Buffalo Bills (twice) and Miami Dolphins before putting on the Silver and Black. He now wraps up a 15-year career.
Enjoy retirement, Richie!