Richie Incognito, the troubled NFL lineman whose career went on the skids after a bullying scandal involving a teammate, has no team right now. After suspending him last season, the Miami Dolphins cut him loose completely in February. But now Incognito says that he wants nothing more than to return to the Dolphins.
Well, actually, it depends on who’s asking, apparently. While Incognito told a Miami TV station this week that he hopes to make his comeback with the Dolphins, he also confided in an interviewer from the NFL Network that a spot on the Oakland Raiders would be the best fit for him.
The 30-year-old lineman was at the center of allegations from his former teammate Jonathan Martin that Martin was harassed and bullied by other members of the Dolphins offensive line. Martin also left the Dolphins and recently signed to play next season with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Dolphins suspended Incognito in mid-season and kept him on the suspended list until the season was over. Then in February, NFL-hired investigator Ted Wells published the results of his inquiry into the bullying allegations — and they did not come out well for Richie Incognito.
The 2005 St. Louis Rams third-round draft pick cracked under the strain. In February Incognito took a baseball bat to his own car — a Ferrari — and smashed it up. Then he checked into a mental health facility.
“I believe in post-traumatic stress syndrome, and I believe in private mental-health care,” Richie Incognito told the Miami interviewer, adding that he was “stressed,” and that was why he committed himself for care.
He also told the interviewer, “returning to the Dolphins was my number one goal from the time I got suspended.”
It seems highly unlikely that the Dolphins need the aggravation of bringing Incognito back. Nonetheless, he said, “I want to return to the community in Miami and resume my playing career as soon as possible.”
But in his NFL Network interview, Richie Incognito expressed very different priorities. He said that joining the Oakland Raiders organization “would fit my personality best,” and emphasized, “I’m 100 percent into that.”
So where will Incognito end up? The real question is, will any NFL team welcome the baggage her carries with him. Even before the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, Richie Incognito was ranked as one of the top three “dirtiest players” in the league.