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Will Richie Incognito Ever Play in the NFL Again?

more from Justin Baragona

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NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp

 

Per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, not only have the Miami Dolphins suspended offensive lineman Richie Incognito indefinitely for his actions against teammate Jonathan Martin, he isn’t coming back to the team ever. Salguero quoted a sourced that stated:

 

“He’s done. There are procedures in place and everyone wants to be fair. The NFL is involved. But from a club perspective he’ll never play another game here.”

The more one looks into the Incognito story, the more repulsed one gets by his actions and his basic personality. Prior to this story coming out, Incognito was already known as one of the dirtiest players in the game and a person who had issues both on and off the field. He was suspended and then kicked off the football team at Nebraska due to numerous issues, ranging from bar fights to spitting on opponents. These issues dropped his stock in the NFL Draft, and he ended up being a 3rd round pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2005. He had been projected as a 1st rounder before the expulsion.

 

While in the NFL, he continued his bad behanvior. He eventually got released by the Rams in the middle of the 2009 season when he went ballistic in a loss to the Tennessee Titans. In the first half of game, he got called for two unsportsmanlike penalties for headbutting opponents and then got into a heated argument with head coach Steve Spagnuolo when he was benched in the 2nd half. This was the second time he lost his composure on the field as he had to be benched during the season opener for doing similar things.

 

Obviously, the warning signs were there for Incognito. He’d always been seen as a hothead and one who had issues with anger, alcohol and drugs. However, it appeared, at least to the public, that he’d turned a corner. His play on the field was good enough to warrant a Pro Bowl selection in 2012. Yet, underneath the surface, he was using his veteran status and value to the Dolphins to push around younger players for the pure sake of being a bully. And he found a favorite mark in 2012 2nd round draft pick and fellow offensive lineman, Jonathan Martin.

 

The details of the intimidation and bullying have been well-documented by now. However, I’d like to highlight a couple of things just to show how much of an asshole Incognito really is. First, here is a transcript of a voice message he left Martin earlier this season:

 

“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”
Here is a video of Incognito acting like a drunken d-bag at a South Beach bar not too long ago:

 

 

Also, Deadspin has posted a video clip from last year’s Hard Knocks that shows Incognito messing with another rookie, tight end Michael Egnew. In that video, you see Incognito point out to Egnew that he broke into his iPad and posted on his Facebook page. He also makes disparaging remarks about Egnew’s fiancee, just to put a nice little cherry on top of the schoolyard bully 

 

But, perhaps, Incognito never really had a chance. Maybe he was always destined to be an insecure jerkoff who was going to use his size and nasty disposition to inflict harm on others to overcompensate for his own unresolved issues with anger and lack of self-worth. Or maybe its just that he’s his father’s son, and he’s just emulating what he grew up with? Why would I say this? Because it appears that Incognito’s dad is the same racist, insecure bully that he raised his son to be. Apparently, Incognito Sr. has taken to a Dolphins message board and has continued the hate towards Jonathan Martin. He’s used extremely insensitive and hateful language in his posts and pretty much has come off as a classless bigot.

 

Currently, Incognito is waiting on the NFL to make a decision on what will happen to him. This is somewhat unprecedented territory for both the NFL and the Players Association, as I can’t recall a situation where a player felt intimidated and threatened by his own teammate to the point of having an emotional breakdown and temporarily leaving the team.  However, even if the NFL decides not to punish Incognito any further, I can’t imagine that any other team in the league will want him in its locker room. Even if he is a talented offensive lineman, how can you bring someone like that into a team environment knowing what he can do to it?