The Raiders took a gamble on Richie Incognito in 2019, and won.
The veteran guard had a troubled past on and off the field and didn’t play in the NFL in 2018. But in May, the Raiders signed Incognito, just two months before his 36th birthday, to a one-year deal in hopes that the former four-time Pro Bowler could help solidify the offensive line.
He certainly did.
Incognito performed very well. After missing some games early in the season because of an NFL suspension, Incognito started 12 games at left guard and was a big factor in the overall better play of the offensive line, which also was bolstered by the addition of right tackle Trent Brown and a big improvement by second-year left tackle Kolton Miller.
Through the first half of the season, Incognito didn’t give up a single sack or quarterback hit and was graded by the analytic website Pro Football Focus as one of the NFL’s top guards. Going into the final game of the season this past weekend, he ranked No. 7 among all NFL guards and had the second-best pass-blocking grade among all guards, having allowed just one sack and eight hurries in 414 pass-blocking snaps, a pressure rate of just 2.2 percent.
Because of his play, the Raiders have signed Incognito to a two-year contract extension. When the team begins play in Las Vegas next season, Incognito will be a starter again.
“He’s a leader on this team,” said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden Monday. “He’s an excellent player. He has a lot of life in his legs and his body. He has a passion to still keep going, and we think he’s one of the best interior players in football, so get him back in there with Rodney (Hudson), and hopefully a healthy Gabe Jackson, the return of Trent Brown, and Kolton Miller’s emergence, it gives us, I think, an offensive line we can really be excited about.”
The two-year deal could be worth as much as $14 million, with $6.35 million guaranteed, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.