Raiders sign OL Incognito to 'prove-it deal'

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders have signed offensive lineman Richie Incognito, the team announced Tuesday.

Incognito has not played in the NFL since 2017, when he announced he was retiring from the league. He said earlier this year that he was looking to return to football.

He had a workout with the Raiders earlier this month, a brief practice that lasted all of two or three minutes in a circuit drill, said Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

Asked how, given his history and the Raiders' stated goals to build a foundation with high-character players, Incognito fit in Oakland, Mayock rattled off the player's on-field accolades and Pro Bowl honors.

"Whenever he's been focused on activities solely on the field, he's been fine, and we've done a one-year prove-it deal with him," Mayock said, later adding that it was for the veterans minimum. "And prove it means both on and off the field. There's some expectations he's got to meet in both areas. He turns 36 in July. We think he's going to be a good football player and allow himself to compete for the left guard job. And just as important, he's got to prove it off the field.

"We're going to provide the infrastructure for him. At the end of the day, it's a two-way street -- we've got to help him help himself."

Incognito played for the Buffalo Bills from 2015 to 2017, appearing in the Pro Bowl each season. The controversial guard was at the center of a 2013 investigation into the bullying of Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin, which led to a suspension for Incognito, who did not play football during the 2014 season.

Incognito pleaded guilty last month in Scottsdale, Arizona, to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from an arrest in August.

Mayock acknowledged that an NFL-mandated suspension might be coming.

"We're all going to take ownership with Richie," Mayock said. "This is a situation where Jon and I both agree that with a guy this age on a one-year prove-it deal, we're all in.

"He looks like he is five to 10 years younger than he really is. Wonderful shape. He still has his quickness, he still has his foot speed."

The Raiders, though, won't truly know what Incognito has left until training camp, when the pads come on and he is competing with Denzelle Good for the starting left guard job.

In signing Incognito, who turns 36 on July 5, the Raiders continue their mode of acquiring talented, polarizing veterans with something to prove. He joins a locker room that already has receiver Antonio Brown and middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Incognito was named the league's dirtiest player in a 2009 Sporting News players poll.

Brown called Incognito "a great guy" on Tuesday.

"Super funny, really big personality," the receiver said. "Aggressive guy who loves the game of football. And I think he's extremely hungry and excited to be back out here."

The Raiders made a point of drafting players who have what they described as high character, making for an intriguing roster mix.

"At the end of the day, you can't have all boy scouts," Mayock said. "And what you do is you have to do your homework on each individual case."

Mayock added that with the infrastructure the Raiders will have in place for Incognito, which includes a "clinician," the expectation is for him "not only to be a good football player but to be a really good human being."

Incognito, a four-time Pro Bowler, does address a specific need at left guard after Oakland traded former All-Pro Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets this offseason. A presumptive Raiders offensive line would be LT Kolton Miller (6-foot-8, 328 pounds), LG Incognito (6-3, 319), C Rodney Hudson (6-2, 300), RG Gabe Jackson (6-3, 335) and RT Trent Brown (6-8, 380).

In the corresponding roster move, the Raiders announced they have released guard Chaz Green.