When the Raiders signed Richie Incognito before the 2019 season, the move was met with mixed reviews. He had just taken a season off and was coming off a very public controversy that didn’t win him many fans. On the field, he’s always been among the best offensive linemen in the NFL, but bringing him into a young locker room was a questionable move.
It’s almost been a year since the team made the decision to sign him and nobody is complaining now. Not only was Incognito among the best left guards in the business and a Pro Bowl alternate, but he was also an amazing teammate. This led to the Raiders handing him a contract extension at the end of the season and he figures to be an important member of the team in 2020.
Now that Incognito has been fully embraced by Raider Nation, he sent a couple of strong messages to the fan base.
Based on his reputation as one of the “bad boys” of the NFL, the Raiders have always been the most logical team for Incognito. It just took him a little longer to get him to the team than it should have. As long as he continues to play at a high level and keeps his head on straight, the Raiders won’t want him to go anywhere.
Incognito Takes Jabs at Maxx Crosby
While Incognito was sending mostly a positive message to the fan base, he did take a jab at Raiders sack leader Maxx Crosby.
The knock on Crosby coming out all college was that he was too skinny. He put on a good amount of weight before the season and had one of the best rookie campaigns in franchise history. If he can get even stronger without losing his elite athletism, he could quickly turn into one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. One thing that Crosby doesn’t lack is work ethic. Expect him to get even better in year two.
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How Far Are the Raiders Realistically Away From an SB Title?
As we saw last year with the San Fransico 49ers, it doesn’t always take long for a team to go from NFL bottom-dwellers to Super Bowl contenders. It’s a stretch to suggest the Raiders are that close to getting back to the big game, but it might not be as far away as some might think. Had the team retained Antonio Brown last season, it’s easy to imagine that they would’ve been in the playoffs.
Though the Raiders have a real shot at making the playoffs in 2020, they’ve got some major things to work on before they can even think about the Super Bowl. Offensive line, tight end and running back are the only three position groups that could be considered set for the team. You could maybe throw linebacker in after they added Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. However, wide receiver, defensive backfield and the defensive line still need serious work. The defensive line could see improvement in 2020 because they are a really young group, but the team has yet to add a number one wide receiver or cornerback. If they nail those positions in the draft and have another strong offseason in 2021, don’t be surprised if Las Vegas becomes a hot pick for Super Bowl sleepers.