There was speculation that new offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders Richie Incognito could face suspension due to a prior incident he had. Well, the wait is over and it’s official that Incognito will face a two-game suspension without pay. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Raiders and they should be glad that it got sorted out this quickly. He’ll be at training camp and can play in the preseason, but won’t be active for the first two games of the season.
The possibility of Incognito getting cut still exists, but it likely won’t be due to this suspension. He’s expected to be the starter at left guard for the Raiders, a position that they saw great struggle at in 2018. This is certainly not the first time Incognito has been suspended at the college or NFL level. The notorious hot head has a long history of getting into trouble.
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Richie Incognito’s Troubled Past
Some of Incognito’s past issues have been well publicized. Most people are well aware of the horrible bullying case involving Jonathan Martin while they were both members of the Miami Dolphins. Incognito, in a misguided effort to toughen Martin up, constantly harassed the rookie and made racial slurs towards him. This led to Martin suffering mentally and was never been able to have a successful NFL career. Incognito was suspended for the incident but eventually had the suspension lifted after missing the entire 2014 NFL season.
It wasn’t the first time Incognito was suspended. In college, Incognito was suspended a number of times for fighting with teammates. He was still drafted in the third round by the St. Louis Rams in the 2005 NFL Draft. Incognito has bounced around several teams, most notably with the Buffalo Bills. Incognito had his best years while playing in Buffalo. He eventually had issues there and decided to retire. His retirement only lasted one year and he now finds himself as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
This current suspension stems from an incident that Incognito had at a funeral. There were reports that Incognito wanted to cut the head off of his deceased father while attending his funeral so that he could research what was inside. Apparently, he was refused access to see his father’s body and made threats that he would go to his car and get guns so that he could shoot the employees at the funeral home. All of this sounds like a man who should not be a member of a professional football team. The Raiders made their bed, so if Incognito acts up again, it’s not going to look good for Mike Mayock and crew.
Who is Incognito’s Backup?
It might be too quick to assume that Incognito is going to be the starter at left guard for the Raiders, but it’s hard to imagine that the team would be willing to take the blowback from signing him without intending to start him. Plus, as previously mentioned, the left guard play was terrible for the Raiders a year ago. Denzelle Good seems to be the biggest threat to Incognito’s spot. The Raiders brought him late in the season in 2018 to replace an injured Gabe Jackson. He didn’t play well enough to believe that he should be a starter. Good has decent experience as a starter over his four years in the NFL, but he seems to be more of a depth option than a full-time starter.
Denver Kirkland is also an option at guard, but he has very little experience. At the end of the day, Incognito is the most talented and experienced option at guard for the Raiders. Good will probably fill in while Incognito serves his suspension, but there doesn’t seem to be a point of having a potentially toxic player like Incognito on the roster if you don’t intend to start him.