The Raiders’ Most Notorious Player
Update: In July 2022, 5 days after turning 39, Richie Incognito retired as a Raiders player. He played in and started in 14 Raiders games. Due to an Achilles injury, Incognito missed part of the 2020 season and the entire 2021 season.
Original Bio: Richie Incognito, our offensive guard is a talent we are grateful to have despite his offensive past. Taking a chance in 2018, Gruden signed Richie Incognito to a one-year contract and, when he performed well, offered him another 2 years.
Incognito has a resume filled with success. Multiple arrests, suspensions, chemical abuse, and the 2009 title of “Dirtiest Player in the NFL” make him a gamble.
Bullying wasn’t always his style. He was bullied because of his weight, so his father encouraged him to stand up for himself. Ultimately his size and tough attitude make him a perfect offensive guard. Despite arrests and suspensions at the University of Nebraska, the Rams chose him in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft.
The Rams released him in 2009 after 38 penalties in 4 years and some nasty head-butts. Even though he was accused of gouging eyes, punching, spitting, and making illegal tackles, his talent was worth the controversies. Opponents said they knew to watch their knees. Being asked to play for the Dolphins resulted in a 2012 Pro Bowl appearance, however, bullying a fellow teammate was a sign no one could ignore.
Incognito, with two others, were accused of defecating in another player’s mouth, bullying, harassment, threats, and racial slurs. After the NFL’s investigation and Dolphin’s dismissal, Incognito checked himself into an Arizona Treatment Center.
He did not play NFL football again until 2015. Teams left him alone until the Buffalo Bills contracted him from 2015-2017, where he played in 3 consecutive Pro Bowls. Incognito was considered to be a big asset and an “ultimate professional,” according to a teammate.
Richie Got Help
Richie Got The Help
In the Spring of 2017, chemical and alcohol use fueled a violent tantrum at a Florida gym where he babbled incoherently to police during the arrest. Then, only a few months later in August he threatened to shoot funeral home employees at his father’s wake. That was another arrest which led to the NFL suspending him and a psychiatric evaluation required.
No one wanted to touch him including the Bills. Reality was that “drinking and drugging” were affecting his performance. After coming to team events intoxicated, the response was a salary cut. Incognito chose to retire siting liver and kidney issues. After taking a year off football, the Raiders offered his a one-year contract trusting claims that he had turned his life around.
The Raiders offered him “one more chance” resulting in us getting an excellent and undervalued player. Richie played 12 games in the 2018-2019 after sitting out a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct standards in the funeral home incident.
When re-signing Incognito this spring, Coach Grudden said “To get Incognito for two more years is big for us.” “He’s a leader on this team, he’s an excellent player, he has a lot of life in his legs and his body. He has a passion to still keep going. We think he’s one of the best interior players in football.” Let’s hope that his demons are enjoying living in Las Vegas as much as the team seems to like it. Welcome to Las Vegas!
Did You Know?
Chances and Charities
In 2018 after the NFL ordered Richie to get help, he checked into an Arizona rehab facility. Coming out with a different outlook on life and commitment to the game, Grudden gave him another chance. He says he’s in a better place physically, mentally, and emotionally. With his talent, let’s hope he stays that way and he’ll continue to be a force working for the Las Vegas Raiders!
In the past, Incognito has shown support for a number of charities and youth football. Operation Homefront, an organization that provides assistance to families of service members and wounded soldiers was one.
In July 2018, Incognito was named a national ambassador for Boo-2-Bullying, an anti-bullying nonprofit based in Los Angeles. In a statement announcing this nomination, he said he could “relate to both sides”, being bullied and bullying others. Maybe Richie feels at home with the Raiders’ “Bad Boy reputation.”ed