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Troubled star guard Richie Incognito announces retirement

Sportsnaut
Aug 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders center Richie Incognito (64) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders defeated the Cardinals 33-26. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Four-time Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito, whose career was plagued by behavioral issues, announced his retirement on Friday.

Incognito, 39, made his announcement at the Las Vegas Raiders’ complex in Henderson, Nev., and formally retired as a Raider.

This despite Incognito playing just 14 of his 164 regular-season games with the franchise.

“It felt like home the minute I got here,” Incognito said of joining the Raiders, then in Oakland, prior to the 2019 season. “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.”

Though Incognito was a force on the field, he had a long list of off-field transgressions. His checkered reputation reached a low due to the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal during the 2013 season.

Then-rookie Jonathan Martin accused Incognito and two teammates of bullying him and he left the team in midseason. Incognito was suspended for the final eight games of the season and didn’t play in 2014 before joining the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

He also was suspended for two games in 2019 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after an incident the previous year at an Arizona funeral home following his father’s death. Incognito threatened to shoot employees and demanded that his father’s head be cut off for research purposes.

Incognito earned Pro Bowl berths with the Dolphins in 2012 and with the Bills from 2015-17. He retired for the 2018 season before later joining the Raiders.

Incognito played 12 games for the Raiders in 2019 and just two in 2020. He missed all of last season with a calf injury.

He began his NFL career in 2006 with the St. Louis Rams and spent 3 1/2 seasons with the club. He finished the 2009 season with the Bills before moving on to Miami for four seasons.

Incognito was a star college player at Nebraska but was plagued by a slew of behavioral issues and troublesome incidents, finally receiving an indefinite suspension just prior to the start of the 2004 season.

–Field Level Media