As you're all probably aware, the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday evening claimed controversial guard Richie Incognito off of waivers from the Rams. A third-round pick of St. Louis in 2005, Incognito was waived earlier this week after drawing two blatant personal fouls in a loss at Tennessee that culminated in his getting into a verbal spat with Rams rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
Now, Incognito joins a battered Bills offensive line with a chance at playing right away. The Bills currently have one reserve interior linemen - Christian Gaddis - and to say that Incognito outstrips Gaddis in the talent department is an understatement.
We know how Bills linebacker Kawika Mitchell feels about the move. He had something of a stuff-foot-into-mouth moment on Wednesday night, saying he was disappointed by the move and referring to Incognito as a "bum," among other things. How did others react to the move? Find out after the jump.
Incognito the player
Keeping in mind that he missed the entirety of his rookie season due to injury, Incognito has started 44 games over the past four seasons, including nine this year with the Rams. Possessing the talent and disposition to play either guard spot or center, Incognito might have gone higher in the '05 draft - even with the knee injury he sustained at the NFL Combine - had he not been a complete head case.
In 2005, Daniel Jeremiah was a scout for the Baltimore Ravens. He was at the Combine when Incognito's knee injury happened, and recalled the story when last night's news broke on his Twitter page:
Incognito story: During OL drill at combine, he was so out of control, I said he was going to hurt himself, tore his acl 1 min later, no lie
Up to that point, Incognito had had an amazing Combine performance, running a 4.84-second 40-yard dash at 305 pounds. Scouts raved about his short-area burst, his outstanding athleticism and the nastiness with which he played the game of football. Incognito's problem was, and remains, that he couldn't turn that demeanor off when not on the field.
Incognito the offender
STLtoday.com put together a story earlier this week detailing all of Incognito's offenses in his short career. In short, since November of 2006, Incognito has had seven separate incidents arise, which led to $37,500 in fines and, this week, his release from the team that drafted him.
The fines and personal fouls are obvious issues, but it's his attitude toward Rams fans that raised eyebrows the highest. These two incidents happened in 2008:
Nov. 20, 2008: Criticizes St. Louis fans. "Our fans get in their seats, they don't know how to cheer, when to cheer."
Nov. 23, 2008: Leaving the field after a loss to Chicago, he cups his hands to his ears, encouraging more abuse from fans.
We've seen players get frustrated with fans in the past. Heck, Matt Cassel told fans to "shut the [fudge] up" during Kansas City's loss to Buffalo this past weekend. One little outburst is one thing; two outbursts in a four-day window is another animal entirely.
Then, roughly a year later, he head-butted opponents twice. In the same game. Raise your hand if you're surprised he was released.
Rams fans aren't fussed "Cogs" is gone
Let's make this perfectly clear: the Rams have had massive issues along their offensive line for the past several years. They, more than the vast majority of NFL teams, need talented players up front. It's telling in that light, as well, that Rams fans, in general, aren't fussed with Incognito's departure.
Major mixed feelings about this... You just know he’ll land on a great team and flourish. But I assume the Rams need to make this move.
Luv ya COGS!!! But you were just killing the other guys on the team-- So don’t get head-butted in the ass on your way out the door!
As a coach Spags made the best move he could. Remember Defiance spreads like a disease. Without cutting this short, it would make his communication and validity difficult to get to the guys. There is no doubt the guy has talent and can play the position, but you just can’t have that free range of stupidness on the field. Spags is trying to preach effort and discipline, and Cogs was only half there. Good call on the cut and I am impressed with the response by Cogs… well said guy.
this is the right move, but what a waste of real football talent right there. when he wasn’t being stupid he was easily one of the better guards in the league.
I'm not a fan of this move but I have to give credit to Spags and trust the decision. It definitely sends shock waves through the locker room. If somehow you didn’t think the players knew who was in charge, well the do now.It’s about time that the Rams let him go. This hot-headed jerk will never learn how to control himself and play football. That is why it took 3 colleges for him to graduate! He must have majored in STUPIDITY!!!!! Hopefully Nebraska will forget that he once represented their team. We know that the Rams fans have had enough!!
Wherever he ends up trouble will follow. He’s a bad seed. Although quite talented, he really did need to go.
Those are just a few of the choice samplings from Turf Show Times.
Now, with veteran Kendall Simmons - already a Bills fill-in at right guard - missing practice on Wednesday, Incognito, in joining his new team in Buffalo, has a legitimate chance at suiting up and seeing field time for Buffalo this Sunday. In many ways, Buffalo looks like Incognito's last chance at resurrecting a once-promising pro football career. Forget what his teammates think of him. Incognito has tabula rasa - but he also needs to be placed on a zero-tolerance policy.