NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors: Richie Incognito Close to Signing?

Richie Incognito

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

You weren’t expecting to see Richie Incognito’s name pop up this season, were you?

Well, in an interesting turn of events, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought Incognito in for a visit, presumably to help them solidify what has been a shaky offensive line so far this preseason. The former Miami Dolphins guard has been out of the NFL since the team bid farewell to him following the Jonathan Martin bullying incident, but appears ready to make a triumphant return with Tampa Bay.

Assuming everything goes well, the Buccaneers should have no problem offering Incognito a job. The former third-round pick out of Nebraska has proven himself to be a quality blocker during his eight NFL seasons, even making the Pro Bowl in 2012 with the Dolphins.

Before being kicked to the curb last season for his off-field antics, Incognito managed a strong 7.2 overall rating according to Pro Football Focus. He offers an outstanding mix of run and pass blocking abilities, and should be a welcomed addition to a Buccaneers offensive line that currently boasts Oniel Cousins and Patrick Omameh as its starting guards. Considering the two have earned ratings of -9.3 and -5.5 this preseason, respectively, adding Incognito to the mix seems like a no-brainer.

Obviously the Buccaneers must be wary of Incognito’s hot-headed tendencies and off-field problems, but the potential is there for him to be a valuable asset in Tampa Bay. If Lovie Smith feels he can keep him in check off the field while tapping his full potential on it, there’s no reason to pass on Incognito.

We’ll see if anything comes of this visit, but indications are a deal will be struck. Assuming that’s the case, the Buccaneers’ offensive line is about to get a significant upgrade.