Once again, Richie Incognito‘s been exposed as someone who can’t handle both the spotlight and basic human interaction.
While an excellent football player, a history of abuse and unprofessional behavior earning him the unofficial nickname “Itchie Richie” dates back well before his days with the Miami Dolphins.
During his time at Nebraska, Incognito bullied teammates, started in-game altercations and was charged with misdemeanor assault. He’d eventually leave Nebraska for Oregon but was dismissed from the Ducks’ squad a mere week after joining by then-head coach Mike Bellotti who stated: “There were conditions we had set down and set forth for him to be admitted to our program, and they were not met.”
After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and earning a starting spot, he was charged with 38 penalties in 44 games.
With the release of a 144-page investigative report by Ted Wells, not only was Incognito shown as having bullied Jonathan Martin to the point of leaving the Dolphins, but he had backup in teammates John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. Martin apparently wasn’t the only target of their abuse, either. Another offensive linemen and athletic trainer were subjected to the trio’s harassment.
It’s clear that Incognito is a toxin to any franchise he becomes a part of. Whether or not Jerry and Pouncey can redeem themselves for their actions is up in the air, but no NFL team should have anything to do with Incognito. Quite frankly, no team on any level should bring him into the fold.
Any remorse shown by him at this point would be hollow and likely written on a piece of paper thanks to an intern in the Dolphins’ organization. Better action would be a release if not absolute ban from the league. Incognito’s had plenty of chances to prove he’s not one of, if not the dirtiest player in the NFL.
Since that appears to be a title he’s happy to keep, let him put a homemade plaque on his wall bearing that distinction rather than the NFL allowing him shots at Super Bowl rings.