Richie Incognito has the week off thanks to the Oakland Raiders‘ Week 5 win over the Chicago Bears, but the NFL has come to throw a wrench in his vacation. According to Tom Pelissero, the NFL has hit Incognito with $21,054 worth of fines.
They leveraged two separate fines of $10,527 each for two separate plays. One for a chop block, the other for unnecessary roughness. Pelissero didn’t specify, but the unnecessary roughness fine is likely from Incognito planting Buster Skrine’s face into the dirt as he was getting up after a play. This isn’t the first time he’s been fined and it’s unlikely the last if he plans on playing past this season.
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Brief History of Incognito’s Fines
Incognito’s been getting fined since before he was even in the NFL. His first fine came courtesy of the government as he was fined $500 back in 2004 for a misdemeanor assault charge. He lasted a few years in the NFL before getting fined again. In 2008, he was fined three times from one game that was worth $35,000. The next year, he was fined $50,000 for a couple of personal fouls.
He’s also faced several suspensions throughout his career. Incognito has had a troubled past and has been open about it. Other than his hits that got fined, he seems to be fitting in well with the Raiders. It also helps that he’s been a big part in helping turn their offensive line into a top unit.
A Much Improved Offensive Line
The Raiders offensive line was really bad in 2018. Derek Carr was sacked 51 times, which was significantly more than he had ever been in his career. What made this worse was that the Raiders were coming off two straight years of offensive line dominance. The team spent big on right-tackle Trent Brown and also brought in Incognito. Both moves turned some heads. In Brown’s case, Oakland made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in history and some didn’t think he was worth it. In Incognito’s case, some thought he should be left out of the NFL after his latest legal scuffle.
Well, both moves have paid off in a big way so far. Brown and Incognito were instrumental in shutting down the dominant Bears defensive line. Chicago didn’t force a negative play throughout the whole game. Through five games, Carr has been sacked eight times, which is ninth-lowest in the league. The unit should also be getting injured starter Gabe Jackson back. Once he returns, Oakland’s offensive line should be dominant.
If they can keep Carr protected, he can play at an elite level. We saw this in 2016 and he’s been playing very efficiently in 2019. It would be nice to see him throw the ball down the field more, but if it ain’t broke, there’s no reason to fix it. Tom Cable deserves credit. The often-maligned offensive line coach for the Raiders took a top unit and turned them into one of the NFL’s worst in 2018. Now, he’s fixed the problems and is coaching a really strong unit.