Buffalo Bills heightened security during separation from Richie Incognito

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.

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I worry that playing again will only find him temporary solace from an issue(s) that seem(s) to be rooted in a separate part of his psyche outside just, "Richie Incognito – football player".
I hope that’s not true, and that he can find the inspiration he needs to "heal" – wherever his path leads.

I think him playing football had kept his personal demons in check. Having a purpose, schedule, a locker room, a team "family" atmosphere kept him in check. Obviously he needs some personal help and possibly medication to help him. I hope things go well for him.
I hope past Broncos receiver, can"t remember his name, but he has and has dealt with mental health issues, gets hold of him to help him.

Brandon Marshall

Not an odd response

This isn’t an odd response but is common place with many companies, government agencies and even the military taking security steps if someone has made unusual comments. I wish him the best of luck but will not critique the Bills for doing a smart move for security.

This article does not seem to be an indictment on the Bills doing something unwarranted, but rather yet another anecdote regarding Incognito and questioning why he continues to find work (shockingly with the Raiders).

Yeah the Hornell HS locked down once bc they pissed me off

I was like WTF, overboard. I used to have an anger problem and would get vicious, but I have changed. Hope he can before he hurts someone. That is why I changed.

Was it a dispute with Hornell Fred?

LMAO

Nah. Just a misunderstanding. I got cut off and at the red light and beeped once then got flipped off backwards out the window. I got out to go talk to the person. Well he sped away when I was approaching him and was scared I was going after him so he called the cops when he got to the school(I graduated a year prior to this). They locked it down and pulled me over like 20 minutes later as I pulled into my driveway. I explained what happened and that was the end of it all. The cops said he didn’t know it was me and thought I was going after him. I assured them that I didn’t even know who it was.

So basically a misunderstanding lead to it all.

I shout a lot of things and flip a lot of people off while driving, have never been in a situation where myself or someone else got out of the car (Though I 100% deserve someone to do that to me). Glad to hear it didn’t escalate. I get it, though.

People getting out of the car is the specific reason I only use my horn when completely necessary down here in Florida.

I used to have an anger problem...emotional issues...hair trigger to fight so to speak

Glad I grew up and got help directing my anger.

Perfectly reasonable. Richie was troubled and I think that much was apparent. Football is what brought Incognito his peace but it was clear that it was a tepid peace. I’m not sure if signing with the Raiders will do much except for make it tougher when the inevitable divorce from football happens (Everyone ages out eventually, right?).

I did.

And I thank God I did before I was put in prison. Hope he can grow up, learn too control his emotions.

Was he troubled before the contract was negotiated, That part is still unclear, despite his troubles with the ramas and dolphins.

Perfectly reasonable. Richie was troubled and I think that much was apparent.

Not trying to split hairs, he has had a checkered past but for three years here in Buffalo there was never a peep of inappropriate behavior until the playoff game against the Jags. Even that behavior didn’t result in league discipline and the only known action by the home club was renegotiation his contract at that time. Something happened that triggered Ritchie’s dark side up to that point in his behavior rehabilitation and the fact that the Bills had to heighten security:

"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."
Not trying to split hairs, he has had a checkered past but for three years here in Buffalo there was never a peep of inappropriate behavior until the playoff game against the Jags.

I believe there was an article on the Athletic (And hinted in this article here, if I recall correctly) that stated there were issues and incidents but they locker room contained them (Major credit to McDermott and the culture he established here).

Even that behavior didn’t result in league discipline and the only known action by the home club was renegotiation his contract at that time. Something happened that triggered Ritchie’s dark side up to that point in his behavior rehabilitation and the fact that the Bills had to heighten security:

I don’t think that’s a good characterization. Reportedly there were incidents and outbursts throughout his tenure. It’s shifting the goalposts a bit to have to make the argument hinge on league discipline (EG: Major incidents). Rather, he was asked to re-structure and agreed to it (Something he had the agency and authority to do, his later misgivings are on him, not the home club, so I’d walk back the implied blame on OBD here).

I think this is just a concerted effort to critique OBD. Ritchie Incognito consented to a contract restructure and regretted his decision. No one disputes that the guy could play, so that’s a red herring and unnecessary. The Eric Wood issue is unrelated to Ritchie, so I’m unsure why guilt by association is being used here (Correcting the narrative, the dispute was between the NFLPA and the Bills, not Wood, the Bills had little to no issue with guaranteed money but the amortized amounts should’ve been returned if it was going to count against Buffalo).

You’re raising a lot of collateral matters because you dislike the front office and you’re standing on Ritchie’s tragedy to do it. I find that to be in extremely poor taste.

Agreed, thought the same thing when I read it. Always biased against OBD it seems.

But I wonder if something happened between him and someone(individual person) at OBD that day.

not at all, just a lot of missing pieces.

I’m curious, you don’t have to be.

Did the franchise trigger him when he started posting passive aggressive messages on Twitter?
Did the franchise trigger him when he raged in a public fitness center months after his retirement?
Did the franchise trigger him when he punched a hole in the wall and ripped the security system off the wall at his grandmother’s house?

Richie Incognito has a mental condition. This isn’t conjecture, he’s discussed it in the past. For people with mental illness, lots of things can cause triggers. He could have reasonably and in good faith restructured his contract, and then later decided that the franchise and his agent were plotting against him. His retirement announcement to OBD could have been of the menacing variety that resulted in the heightened security. Last I saw, he still collected a cool million last year from his signing bonus. 2018 was not a good year for Richie (other than the "free" million dollars), let’s hope his 2019 is better and he has the mental health assistance he needs.

You just cant help yourself

Terminating staff for leaks- in any company thats a firable offense it goes to character. Interesting you think that they should have just ignored it
Legal alternatives to recouping woods contract- it was an injury settlement i believe and that would be to alleviate some of the cap situation. If you are going to accuse them how about adding some context to help people.
His fathers death- interesting how you chose to end with this as losing a parent would normally be the trigger to anyone but you hate the front office so much you actually make them to blame instead of the loss of his FATHER.

What the hell man

Was he troubled before the contract was negotiated, That part is still unclear

I do agree with this question. I think many around here have assumed that the front office unjustly and unexplainedly cut his contract to deal with our salary cap issues. They then say that this is what set Ritchie off. I personally think its more likely that they saw his pattern of behavior at the facility growing more volatile and chose to say look, Ritchie, we love you, but its got to stop brother. We’re willing to offer you a cheaper contract to keep you around, but in light of your behavior you aren’t worth as much as you would be otherwise. If you want to make more money by going to another team we can let you go, what’ll it be? Ritchie took the discount, then thought he was worth more, then . . .

All conjecture, but this exchange seems to fit what we know about Ritchie, his history, and McBeane’s treatment of their players better than the story about getting cheap and then telling him to take a home-town discount. Either way, I don’t fault the front office for how this all was handled.

Slightly surprised

I admired Mayocks approach in the draft regarding the players he was looking for. But the.. " they can’t all be boy scouts " and " we want foundational players " seems a bit contradictory. Especially in this case.
Wise move by the Bill’s to be proactive, given the possible downside.
Hope Incognito works out his issues.

The dude that threatened to shoot up a funeral home a couple months later? Ya don't say.
Mental health and addiction are no joke and we’re talking about the poster man-child for it.

I’m feeling a little sensitive about this topic; my family is likely going to have to make the decision to pull the plug on our family alcoholic this week. Shout out to all the Rumblers living with some sort of cross to carry, whether it’s their own or someone they love.

Mental health and addiction are no joke and we’re talking about the poster man-child for it.

Definitely. Just as a human being, I hope that Incognito is somehow, someway able to come to grips with his mental health and that his story doesn’t end in tragedy like those of so many others in situations like his. As someone dealing with his own mental health challenges, I wouldn’t wish any sort of mental illness on my worst enemy. Living with mental illness can feel like living in your own personal hell, a hell that can never be escaped because it’s located inside your own mind.

As with most other forms of illness, there are ways to address the many types of mental illness. But the particularly insidious thing about mental illness is that, by its very nature, it can be so hard to understand and acknowledge that it even exists, let alone to pinpoint exactly what the problem is and to seek out an effective way of treating or dealing with it. In my experience, the confusion of living every day for about 20 years of adult life knowing that something was wrong with me but having no idea what it was or that there might be some way to identify and address it was the worst. Unlike some kinds of physical illness or injury, mental illness can feel like there’s something wrong with you at the deepest level of your sense of self, like there’s something wrong with who you are as a human being. That can be extremely hard to come to grips with. But it can be done, and it can get better.

Anyway, it seems like Ritchie has at least a basic understanding that he is suffering from some type of mental illness, which is an important first step. Hopefully, if he does truly understand that a mental health issue exists, he can find a way to deal with that issue at its internal source rather than just hoping that it can be fixed by putting himself in the right external situation. The discipline, organization, camaraderie and structured environment of being part of an NFL team can help, but they alone can’t heal a mental illness because they don’t get at the core of the issue. They don’t address the underlying cause of the problem. Here’s hoping that Ritchie can find a way to do just that.

And best of luck to you, Daytona Dave, in dealing with your difficult family situation. Much love to you and everyone else here fighting the good fight.

I appreciate the well wishes, thank you. I’m very lucky that I have a great extended family and we’re going to take care of the situation and each other the best we can.

While we’re on the issue, it seems like a good time to share something Skarekrow said in the Josh Gordon thread that has stuck with me:

One of the greatest things I ever read was comparing mental health medications and treatment to glasses. Adults don’t blame those who wear glasses and tell them to just take them off and "see better." The vast majority of mental health problems have a chemical or physiological component (even trauma related disorders often "reorganize" the brain).

Yeah, I definitely think it’s good to talk about these things in non-judgmental terms as a health and wellness issue like many others. Mental illness isn’t weakness or laziness or any other negative personal characteristic or quality; it’s illness. The thing is, at least in my experience with anxiety/depression, it can feel an awful lot like weakness or laziness. Your rational mind knows that there’s no external reason for you to be feeling what you’re feeling and experiencing what you’re experiencing, so you’re constantly wondering what the hell is the matter with you and why you can’t just do ordinary, simple things like everyone else instead of ending up curled up in a ball on the floor and having a panic attack because you’re terrified of the idea of running out to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk. So it’s real easy to feel shame and fear and want to do everything in your power to hide these kinds of issues from everyone around you while you try to just suck it up and force your way through.

If we were a bit better informed and a bit more open as a culture about what mental illness is and how it works, it might help mitigate some of those issues a bit.

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