The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be close to signing controversial guard Richie Incognito, his first steps back into the league after a bullying scandal with the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 season.
Incognito was kicked off the team for allegedly targeting young players, including Jonathan Martin. The situation blew up when Martin left the team in October, citing continued abuse from a small group of players led by Incognito.
The Buffalo Bills have reportedly been meeting with Richie Incognito over the weekend, with sources close to the team saying they were close to reaching a deal.
Incognito had been suspended for the final eight games of the 2013 season, but after being cleared by the NFL last summer, he was not able to find a team that would take him. Incognito got looks from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos, but had no contract offers.
The Buffalo Bills may be keeping Incognito on a short leash. The Bills have a new head coach in Rex Ryan, who has been unafraid to take chances on players before. In his introductory press conference with the Bills, Ryan said he wants to “build a bully” that would be tough to play against.
The Bills are in dire need of help at guard, with starters Erik Pears and Kraig Ubrik struggling heavily at times last year. The Bills had their first winning record in a decade, but often sputtered on offense and instead relied on one of the league’s best defenses to carry them to nine wins.
The Buffalo Bills could get another boost at guard. Chris Williams, who signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal last offseason, is expected to return for the start of next season after missing 13 games with a lower back injury.
If the rumors are true, then the Buffalo Bills would be the first team to have a second go-round with Richie Incognito. He signed with the Bills at the end of the 2009 season, after being cut by the St. Louis Rams. He played through the end of the season but was not re-signed by the Bills, making it his only stint with a team since college that did not end with him being kicked off the team.