The NFL on Friday suspended troubled Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito without pay for the first two games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Under the terms of the policy, Incognito remains eligible to participate in Oakland’s offseason activities and preseason practices and games.
The suspension follows two 2018 incidents centered on Incognito.
Incognito, 36, was arrested and charged with threats and disorderly conduct in August after an incident at a Scottsdale, Ariz., funeral home. While making arrangements for his late father, Incognito was allegedly “acting erratically and making the employees feel incredibly uncomfortable.”
“Incognito reportedly was upset with staff and began to damage property inside the business and shout at employees,” Scottsdale Police Sgt. Ben Hoster told The Washington Post in an email. “At several points during his contact with staff, Incognito threatened to retrieve guns from his vehicle and return to shoot the employees. Once on scene, officers detained him as the incident was investigated. Based on the investigation, Incognito was arrested and held on misdemeanor charges of threats and disorderly conduct.”
Funeral home employees allegedly told police that Incognito wanted to cut his father’s head off and walked throughout the building punching caskets and throwing things, per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
He pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from that incident.
Three months earlier, Incognito was taken into custody for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation following an incident at a Boca Raton, Fla., gym. He wasn’t arrested, but authorities invoked the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows people to be held against their will for mental health treatment if they’re deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Incognito allegedly threw a tennis ball and screamed at another gym user to “get off my f—ing playground.” He also allegedly threw a dumbbell at that person.
The Raiders signed Incognito to a one-year deal in May. He retired in April after three years with the Bills, claiming his “liver and kidneys are shutting down,” before changing his mind days later and demanding a new contract from Buffalo. The Bills instead cut him after he failed to show up for offseason workouts.
“We’re all going to take ownership with Richie,” Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock said at the time of the signing.
“You can’t have all boy scouts,” Mayock added, “And what you have to do is you have to do your homework on each individual case, and we’ve done our homework.”
Incognito is perhaps best known for his role in the 2013 Miami Dolphins bullying scandal centered on teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito and teammates John Jerry and Mike Pouncey were found to have harassed Martin, along with another Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
Incognito was suspended the final half of the 2013 season and did not play in 2014. The four-time Pro Bowl lineman was named first-team all-pro by Pro Football Focus following the 2015 campaign, his first with Buffalo.
After the Bills’ January 2018 playoff loss to the Jaguars, Jacksonville defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accused Incognito of making racial slurs. Bills General Manager Brandon Beane claimed “there’s a misunderstanding of what was said.”
Incognito will surely be in the spotlight when the Raiders are featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks" beginning in August.
“Really, if they were smart they’d go to Oakland,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said in May before HBO made the announcement. “Seriously. You have Antonio Brown, Jon Gruden, Paul Guenther, Vontaze Burfict. [Richie] Incognito. They’d be crazy not to go to Oakland."