On Tuesday, 34-year-old offensive guard Richie Incognito, a veteran of 11 NFL seasons, shocked the Buffalo Bills community by announcing that he intends to retire from football. Incognito, who made the Pro Bowl each of the past three seasons as a member of the Bills, adds yet another hole to Buffalo’s offensive line; it also has to replace the one created by center Eric Wood, who for all intents and purposes, is expected to officially retire sometime in the near future as well.
So where do the Bills turn to following the news regarding Incognito? Well, financially speaking, they’ll be free of the $5.9 million that Incognito’s 2018 contract would have counted against the cap. Obviously, it would have been ideal for the Bills had Incognito made this decision earlier in the offseason, before start of free agency, but nonetheless, there are still currently quality offensive guards available on the market.
Here are the three names that the Bills should target should they elect to fill Incognito’s spot in free agency.
Jahri Evans, 34, Green Bay Packers
The same age as Incognito, Evans is far from a spring chicken but he’s definitely still a solid contributor. A two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler, Evans performed well for the Green Bay Packers last season. It’s possible that he too chooses to retire, and there’s a report out that he’s willing to return to Green Bay for another season, but the Bills should definitely still throw their hat in the ring for his services.
Luke Joeckel, 26, Seattle Seahawks
The 2013 No. 2 overall pick has a lot of experience starting, but missed 25 games over his first four seasons in the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joeckel also missed significant time in 2017 with the Seahawks, too, but he did manage to still make 11 starts.
Alex Boone, 30, Arizona Cardinals
Boone brings a wealth of experience with eight seasons under his belt and having made at least 13 starts in all of his seasons after his rookie year.
2017 Pro Football Focus Grade: No. 66