Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman Richie Incognito Officially Announces Retirement From NFL

by Dustin Schutte
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Richie Incognito, a 15-year NFL veteran and four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman, is retiring from football. He made an official announcement in a personal letter posted on the Las Vegas Raiders‘ team website.

Incognito spent the final three years of his career (2019-21) with the Raiders. His announcement closes the book on a career in professional football that started in 2005.

“Football has taught me a strong work ethic, a willing to get better every day and a desire to continue growing,” Incognito wrote. “It has taught me that while what you get is important, who you become is more important. All of these lessons I’ll take with me into the next chapter.

“Because today, I’m officially retiring from the NFL.”

Incognito was a third-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Nebraska. He started his career with the St. Louis Rams (2005-09) and had stops with the Buffalo Bills (2009, 2015-17) and Miami Dolphins (2010-13) before closing out his career with the Raiders.

Incognito earned his first Pro Bowl selection with the Dolphins in 2012. He then received the honor with the Bills for three consecutive years from 2015-17. He started in 164 games in the NFL.

In the letter, Incognito pointed to new injuries that have been nagging him over the past two seasons. That helped lead to his decision on Friday.

“I’ve dealt with injuries the last two years I never had before in my career,” Incognito wrote. “My body told me it was time, and I knew I was ready to hang them up.”

Controversy Surrounded Richie Incognito’s Career

There’s no question Richie Incognito starred along the offensive line throughout his NFL career. You don’t reach four Pro Bowls without being a quality player in the trenches.

But Incognito was a bit of a controversial figure in the game. Players in the league tabbed the offensive lineman as the “dirtiest player” in the game, according to a Sporting News poll in 2009. He faced allegations of bullying teammate Jonathan Martin while with the Miami Dolphins in 2013.

In his farewell letter, Incognito explained that his “bad boy” image is one of the reasons he wanted to retire with the Raiders organization.

“It felt like home the minute I got here,” he said. “I’d played so long, and I’d gotten this ‘bad boy’ reputation, but it just fit with the Raiders. They trusted who I was, and they let me play. And I played my ass off just to repay them for the opportunity.”

Incognito did not mention what his future plans might entail but did sign off by saying he’s proud to retire with the Raiders. He’s also glad he finished his career the way he wanted to do it.

“I wanted to finish on my own terms. Not a lot of people get to do that in this league and that’s why I’m so proud to retire with the Raiders,” Incognito wrote.

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