After doing their due diligence, the Oakland Raiders signed former Bills guard Richie Incognito. The team’s offensive line will benefit from the veteran’s presence, but there will be collateral damage on the roster because of it.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders had the 26th ranked offensive line in 2018. Many upgrades were needed but they didn’t make many moves in hopes that the current personnel play better. Oakland signed former tackle Trent Brown and Kelechi Osemele was sent to the Jets, which meant that incumbent Denzelle Good was allotted to start at left guard and rookie Lester Cotton to compete for the backup job.
That was the plan until the Raiders gave a one-year prove-it deal to Richie Incognito, who figures to be plugged in right away and become the team’s starting left guard. The former Bills player will bolster Oakland’s offensive line right away but will affect the rest of the roster.
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Chaz Green was cut to make room for Incognito. The former Cowboys swing tackle was a backup at best and the Raiders will not be really affected by his departure as he has already reached his ceiling. On the other hand and unless he has a lights out camp, Cotton will have limited snaps ahead of the 2019 season and will have less chances to impress the coaching staff.
Good will go from being a fringe starter to the primary backup. He’s still developing and he isn’t a solid player by any means, but could have turned into a decent option at guard had he been given the opportunity. Incognito is still the better player, but he will be taking reps away from younger players that could benefit from them.
Incognito will boost the offensive line in the short term, but will affect the future development of young player in the long run. The Raiders had better hope their quick investment in the veteran brings some resambles of stability to the trenches, otherwise they should be criticized and justifiably so.
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