Veteran guard Richie Incognito is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today at One Buc Place. Incognito has not met with an NFL team since he was suspended by the Miami Dolphins last year for his actions in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal.
Reaction from players on Monday appeared generally positive.
“I don’t make the decisions. I leave that to the guys upstairs,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy told the Tampa Bay Times. “But as far as I’m concerned, as long as he can help the team, I’m all for it. I played against him a couple times, he’s a good player, a Pro Bowl guy, a vet and I think he can help.”
When asked about Incognito’s reported behavior off the field, McCoy added, “That’s fine, but he would be coming to my team so some stuff would have to change. There won’t be any issues. If we were to sign him, he could come in and help and that would be it. If there were any issues, it would be dealt with accordingly between us and then we would move forward.”
Bucs center Evan Dietrich-Smith also seemed to support the idea of adding some experience to the offensive line.
“It’s a business, and if they think bringing somebody in can help our business, then that’s what they’re going to do,” Dietrich-Smith said in the Times article. “We’re in the business of winning and that’s what you do at the end of the day in the NFL.
“I can’t read a book and know how he is first-hand,” he added. “I trust the decision-makers upstairs. If they think it’s a good idea, we’ll see how it goes. Until that point, I don’t have an opinion either way.”
Incognito, 31, was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012. He is was a third-round draft pick out of Nebraska by the St. Louis Rams in 2005. He has started 102 NFL games.
Once voted the NFL’s dirtiest player, Incognito was thrust into the national spotlight last year when he was alleged to have sent threatening and racially-charged texts to Martin, who left the team because of the bullying. He was ultimately suspended for the final eight games of the 2013 season.
Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald believes Incognito’s aggressiveness might add a missing element to the team.
“I think he’s a hard-nosed player,” McDonald said. “From watching film on him, he’s pretty good with his sets, running blocking and things like that. I think he’ll add the temperament and attitude we need on this team. To be honest, we all have problems, we all face difficulties in our life, but I think he’s going to do a great job here.”
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