With news of the Oakland Raiders signing Richie Incognito, it was inevitable that questions surrounding his mental health and history would creep back into the news stream. The Buffalo Bills cut Incognito one year ago on May 21st, 2018. A restructured contract in March of last year led to a short-lived unofficial retirement. Social media posts by Incognito at the time suggested he was unhappy with the new deal. New details in an article from the Associated Press corroborate that the split between Incognito and the Bills came with some friction.
“Security was stepped up at the Bills headquarters around the time Incognito announced his retirement on social media,” a source told the Associated Press. “Though he wasn’t entirely barred from the facility, security personnel were placed on alert if Incognito arrived.”
During his two stints with Buffalo, Richie Incognito was considered a positive presence both on the field and in the locker room. Despite several controversial moments during Incognito’s career, his Buffalo teammates often came to the defense of Incognito and told the story of a man who had righted his personal ship.
Details of the Bills temporarily heightening security measures tell a different tale. Following Incognito’s unofficial retirement and then release, he was involved in two high-profile incidents that ended with law enforcement intervention. The spring and summer of 2018 portray a man in personal crisis. The Raiders will be taking a gamble on Richie Incognito being able to return to form. This gamble is compounded with the need to hope that Incognito can once again find success against his personal demons.