Earlier this week, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced guard Richie Incognito will miss the rest of the season. After missing the last eight games, it doesn’t come as a surprise the team would shut him down for the remainder of the season, but have we seen the last of the veteran guard with the Silver and Black?
Richie Incognito has been a mauler when healthy
The Raiders took a chance on Incognito last year and the move paid off. He was a key to stabilizing an offensive line that had allowed 52 sacks the year before and gave up a more manageable 29 in 2019. The veteran guard was his same dominant self early in 2020. However, he suffered an Achilles injury when this Las Vegas team played the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. Heading into Week 3 this season, he was the third-highest graded guard by Pro Football Focus.
Since then, rookie John Simpson and Denzelle Good have taken turns at the guard position for the Raiders. Although the decline is noticeable, Good has held the fort in Incognito’s absence. His 59.9 PFF grade may look like nothing out of the ordinary at first glance. Nevertheless, he has received plenty of praise from the team and has played a crucial role.
Head coach Jon Gruden has called Good the team’s unsung hero. Earlier this year, the Raiders signed the Mars Hill standout to a one-year contract, and looking at how he has played, he could get another one. He has started nine games this season and played every single offensive snap in those contests.
Where do the Raiders go from here?
Incognito was a great addition in 2019. His presence solidified the Raiders’ offensive line and he was playing at a high level this year. On the other hand, he will account for $6.35 million in 2021 and the team could decide to part ways with him to cut expenses.
This Las Vegas team is currently set to be $6.32 million in the red in 2021. Releasing Incognito would give the team cap relief. One thing working against the guard is his age, he will turn 38 next year. Another option would be to ask him for a pay cut and bring him on a cheaper salary.
Nobody likes to see key contributors go down with injuries, especially one that helped turn things around for the Raiders. Everyone will remember Incognitos’ contribution but we might’ve seen the last of him with the Silver and Black.
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