The Oakland Raiders‘ season just barely ended, but they’re already making big moves. According to Jay Glazer at Fox Sports, the team has given a contract extension to starting left guard Richie Incognito. Though he missed a total of four games on the season, the veteran offensive lineman was selected as a pro bowl alternate.
Incognito has been a controversial figure in the past, but he was a model citizen for the Raiders. He played a big role as a leader for the young team. He should also get some credit for Kolton Miller’s much-improved play. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Incognito will receive two years and $14 million dollars with $6.35 million guaranteed.
The Raiders’ offensive line improved drastically in 2019 compared to 2018 and Incognito played a big part in that. With the move to Las Vegas in motion, the team is going to want to get back to the playoffs in 2020. Having a strong offensive line once again should help the Raiders’ chances.
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Jon Gruden Wasn’t Lying
Incognito has gotten his fair share of negative headlines throughout his career. He’s addressed before that he’s had problems with his mental health, but that he’s in a better place these days. Gruden made it clear that they were looking to bring the offensive lineman back and it looks like he wasn’t lying.
“If you ask the players, I would say he’s probably one of the guys that they look up to the most. And he’s a fun guy to be around,” Gruden said earlier in the season. “You can’t believe everything you read, let me say it like that. He’s had some well-documented issues in his past, but he’s a great teammate, he’s a great player, he’s a heck of a leader and we’re glad we have him. We’re trying to keep him going for another three or four years.”
Based on the reported contract, it looks like “three or four years” was wishful thinking. Regardless, the Raiders are set at left guard for the next two years.
The Raiders are heading into the 2020 offseason with a number of key players set to hit the free-agent market. The team is bound to let a number of them go, but there are a couple guys who could return for Las Vegas. Cornerback Daryl Worley has gotten his fair share of praise from Jon Gruden.
“I think he’s got a little Malcolm Jenkins in him,” Gruden said about Worley earlier in the year. “I think he’s some skill that we need to use more of. We need to see these young corners, to be honest with you, more of these two young corners and Nick Nelson included.”
He started most of the season for the team and it’s likely he’ll return for 2020.
Safety Karl Joseph was playing some of the best football of his career before he was injured midway through the season. The Raiders shouldn’t be inclined to draft another safety with a high pick and Gruden has said that he’s a fan of Joseph’s. He’ll probably get another shot with the team. There are several other players who could be set for an extension, but Joseph and Worley seem the most likely.