Bad boy offensive lineman Richie Incognito reached an agreement to return to the NFL in 2015 after sitting out all of the 2014 season and half of 2013. The guard signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Done deal. Richie Incognito has officially signed with the Bills, source says.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 7, 2015
Bills have wanted Richie Incognito for quite a while. Good for them. Spent time with him at Super Bowl. He’s in a very good place right now. — Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 7, 2015
Incognito’s impression of the Bills? “I hung with Rex. He’s the man… The Pegulas (Bills ownership family) are awesome. I’m ready to roll.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 8, 2015
The NFL suspended Incognito indefinitely in the wake of the bullying scandal targeting Jonathan Martin and other Miami Dolphins players. “During his time with the team, [Richie] Incognito, [John] Jerry and [Mike] Pouncey frequently taunted Player A [Andrew McDonald] with homophobic insults,” the Wells Report said of the bullying behavior in the Dolphins locker room. “He often was called a ‘fag’ or a ‘faggot’ in a demeaning tone. Incognito reportedly accused him of ‘sucking d—’ and ‘pissing while sitting down’ and asked him ‘where’s your boyfriend?’ Incognito acknowledged that Player A, although not actually believed to be gay, was spoken to in this manner repeatedly and persistently–he got it ‘every day from everybody, high frequency.'”
Incognito subsequently apologized to Martin and underwent league-ordered counseling. Following the media barrage responding to the 2013 scandal, Incognito took a baseball bat to his Ferrari and sent several bizarre tweets. But this past summer, the NFL applauded Incognito’s efforts to seek help. Despite his talents as an aggressive and intimidating player, Incognito spent the last year without any serious suitors.
But Rex Ryan, nearly as controversial as a coach as Incognito is as a player, said at his introduction as Bills coach last month that “we’re going to build a bully.” The Incognito signing puts the league on notice that Ryan intends to back up his words with actions.