After 14 seasons, Las Vegas Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito has decided to hang up his cleats. Despite once being one of the most controversial players in the league, Raider Nation embraced him and, when healthy, he made an impact on the team.
Upon his arrival, many questioned whether the decision to bring in Incognito was a smart one. His reputation preceded him, but under former head coach Jon Gruden, Incognito flourished with the Raiders. He quickly became an anchor on the Raiders’ offensive line, providing Gruden with the stalwart he needed at left guard. In his first year, the four-time Pro Bowler helped keep Derek Carr upright, allowing just one sack all season. His game was relatively clean, having been only penalized eight times in that season as well. Even if you don’t care for Pro Football Focus assessments, his 88.5 pass-blocking grade is remarkable.
As far as his tenure with the Silver and Black, Incognito clearly cherishes it and appeared to be grateful to them for allowing him to be himself.
“It felt like home the minute I got here. I’d played so long, and I’d gotten this “bad boy” reputation, but it just fit with the Raiders. They trusted who I was, and they let me play. And I played my ass off just to repay them for the opportunity.”
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) July 15, 2022
Why has Richie Incognito retired from the Las Vegas Raiders?
In the Raiders’ press room where several teammates were present, including Andre James, Incognito decided he couldn’t continue playing.
“I’ve dealt with injuries the last two years I never had before in my career. My body told me it was time, and I knew I was ready to hang them up. And though some in my inner circle might not believe me – I’m ready. There’s no turning back.”
As Incognito pointed out, after his impressive 2019 campaign, injuries quickly ravished his body. He only played in two games during the 2020 season and missed all of last year. Incognito went on to thank his teammates in a departing statement as well as mentioned that owner Mark Davis “means the world to him.” In fact, he states that retiring as a Raider is a result of how much his experience with the Silver and Black has meant to him.
When it comes to the roster, Incognito’s retirement doesn’t appear to have much of an impact. With training camp just days away, the Raiders figure to have Denzelle Good, John Simpson, and Dylan Parham, among others, competing for snaps at the starting guard positions. Perhaps a coaching role in the near future awaits Incognito.
*Top Photo: Eric Risberg/Associated Press