League requires Incognito to be evaluated before joining a team

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The NFL will have a hard time suspending free-agent guard Richie Incognito, given that the Dolphins already suspended him during the 2013 season and the labor deal permits only one suspension per infraction.

But that doesn’t mean the NFL can’t make it harder for Incognito to get back into the league.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports, citing an unnamed NFL source, that Incognito may sign a contract with a new team, but that Incognito may not receive compensation or play until he undergoes a “comprehensive [evaluation] by NFL-NFLPA designated medical advisors.”  Commissioner Roger Goodell then must review their report and, presumably, approve or reject Incognito’s ability to play.

Given Incognito’s behavior both before and after his suspension, it’s fair for the league to have concerns.  It’s not fair, however, if Incognito is being treated inconsistently, or if the NFL is using this requirement as a pretext for further punishment.  Indeed, the mere imposition of this requirement could make it even harder for Incognito to find a team that will give him a contract.

While Incognito is hardly a sympathetic figure, he deserves to receive the same treatment as any other player or non-player.  Which leads to an obvious question.

Will Colts owner Jim Irsay be required to submit to a similar evaluation before he’s permitted to return to the team?

59 responses to “League requires Incognito to be evaluated before joining a team

  1. There is no test on Earth that can diagnose what’s going on in that dude’s head.

  2. Interesting. I feel like a Raiders contract is coming. And I think he deserves it.

  3. Ingognito has been given many chances when he played for the Bills he underwent counseling for a fight at a bar in Rochester during camp, he never learns.

  4. what a bunch of cr@p. If a team wants to take a chance on Incognito and he wants to play for them that should be the end of story. He wasn’t convicted of any crimes and he was already suspended for those things he did to (and Pouncey wasn’t, I could add). The NFL gets worse and worse every day.

  5. Just so you know. One did something that is criminal, endangered the lives of others and has several felony charges against him, the other is accused of “bullying” a big baby and bashing on his own car.

  6. I wouldn’t mind having Incognito on my team. I mean, after all if filth like Ben Roethlisberger is on a team after he did what he did TWICE (that we know about) then this guy Inconito has really done nothing that doesn’t go on in every locker room.

  7. Jesus, the league is really taking it out on this guy. A long suspension, a drawn out investigation and I believe he went through some kind of anger management or classes or something already. Not to mention being vilified in the fishwraps for months. When is enough, enough? Lighten up on the guy already.

  8. I don’t think Irsay and Incognito have similar situations. There are dozens of players with DUI and drug related legal issues to use as comparables for Irsay.
    Incognito has a history of on and off field infractions displaying anger management and anti-social behavior (e.g. lady on the golf course). There was a receiver on the Lions not that long ago who was dealing with similar, call it mental health, issues. That might be a better comparison.

  9. Yes, he must submit to political correctness evaluation. What an idiotic planet.

    I hope you sign with my Raiders, and that you don’t succumb to the PC pressure. Be you, not who the pc world wants you to be.

  10. Equality in the job place. Why are owners exempt from the same fines and misconduct as players.

  11. I’m picturing that Cheez-It commercial, where the docs are waiting for the cheese to mature.

    Except with more violence.

  12. Just like the concussion issue, this is the NFL of protecting itself from further lawsuits.

    It’s a new era gentleman, so get use to it.

  13. Get him a psch eval and a red eye out to the Bay Area pronto! We building a bully, your services are needed.


  14. how come martin dosn’t have the same thing. oh i forgot, mommy and daddy are lawyers and it would ruin the chane to sue for the money.

  15. He’s not a role model, but he’s a good football player and deserves another opportunity. I seriously doubt it’s with the Dolphins, but I wish it were. That would tell the league and the stupid Ted Wells report that our locker room is ours.

  16. If he does not get on a team, then I hope he file a law suit against the league, speaking of a kangaroo court. The power has gone to there head. If a black player use the N word, so what, if a white player use the N word then all hell is the price, talk about racism. Bill

  17. Everybody wants to judge. Ok, so Incognito is a Neanderthal socially. Not a crime. Not attractive either. But then when your job is man-handling and ripping into 300lb guys, it might be helpful. I wouldn’t recommend hiring him as your PR guy, receptionist, or guidance counselor but he isn’t applying for any of those positions. The NFL (read Goodell) is selectively concerned about their reputation. I don’t want him dating my daughter, but I’d put him on my OL.

  18. Don’t kid yourself about him being a “good football player”. The Dolphins were always a soft team where it counted … on the field. They have not been a tough team in my time as a football fan (mid-70s). Incognito is an undisciplined clown. Tough teams are not.

    Mentally tough is mentally tough. Incognito is just mental.

  19. I feel Incognito has paid for his transgressions. And he will continue to pay. How? First, no one is going to give him a long term contract. Strike one. If he get’s signed, I think it will be a one year “show me” deal where he will have to be 100% squeaky clean.Strike two. No hazing of rookies, no untoward gestures with a golf club. He will have to keep his mouth shut and play hard. He will see others on his team clowning around, but he won’t be able to buy in. And if he has any hope of lasting beyond next year, he will need to perform at a high level all season.

  20. Incognito by all accounts has a very close and good family. Why can’t one of them convince this guy that he is killing his career with his mouth. All he had to do was shut his mouth, stay off of twitter, and stay in shape. Had he done that he would already have a new 2 or 3 year deal paying him at least 3 million per season. There are a ton of teams hurting for a quality OG this off season.

  21. btw. The end of “Greatest Show on Earth Era Rams, and the Bills were not winners either. Incognito does not play on winners.

  22. The NFL is setting itself up for a discrimination lawsuit on this one, And unless the NFLPA backs up Incognito on this , they are setting themselves up for a suit for non representation too.
    The NFL should just back off and let market forces resolve the issue one way or the other.

  23. gimme a break…if I am not mistaken the last in depth analysis on the nfl projected that twenty percent plus players had felony records….. nfl is trying to make this guy the scapegoat for a bus driver.

  24. Did Irsay beat up his car too? Then, yes he needs to be evaluated.
    The suspension was for the bullying infraction, the mental health appt is for his actions after that.

  25. Irsay has an addiction issue. There is commonly-accepted treatments for it.

    Incognito has a personality disorder. Outside of shock therapy, only a good shot of Thorazine will help calm him down.
    Richie does not belong in the NFL.

  26. I would be interested to know a) exactly what criteria triggers this mandatory evaluation requirement; and b) who else it has applied to?

    If it is a player coming off of mental health treatment, I would expect Jonathan Martin to trigger this requirement. If it is for behavioral or criminal activity, I would expect it to have applied to Aldon Smith and players caught up in similar situations.

    If it is applied evenly, I have no problem with it but if it is only being trotted out to further harass Incognito, than I call bs.

  27. I think a lot of people don’t realize that everywhere Incognito has played he’s been a liability due to rage-induced personal fouls. And when he’s not racking up penalties, this isn’t a Gene Upshaw clone we’re talking about here.

  28. If anyone needs a psych eval, Anger Mgt, and possibly a course in racial sensitivity it’s SUH. His organized bully violence on the field makes Incog’s antics (and intent) seem like childplay. Yet after 6 vicious attacks, Suh gets named to the Lions’ Leadership Council. Go figure.

  29. You can’t say he’s been treated differently because there is no precedent for his behavior (before Martin left the Dolphins or since).

  30. The NFL is just a microcosm of society in the U.S. I’m not condoning his actions or behavior but, are we going to have the pc police, police the entire nation?

    What’s nest, a lobotomy? I think he’s learned his lesson but, I’m not so sure about the rest of us.

  31. Incognito is being treated unfairly or not consistent with the 100’s of other players that have had violent episodes during their career that were not required to take this evaluation. I think if the NFL attempts to add this evaluation step they are setting a dangerous precedent that could cost them what they love the most…..$$$$. I can already see the attorneys lining up to cash in. EOE laws are still enforced Oh great NFL…

    The NFL doesn’t like or condone bullying but is the bully every time they get a chance to acquire the role.

  32. Shouldn’t Jonathan Martin, a man who talked open of suicide after being benched for poor play, also be required to take a mental health test.

    How liable is the NFL if he plays poorly and hurts himself?

  33. No truth to the rumor that the front office of the team that signs him will also be subject to psychological evaluation.

  34. I think people are missing the point here.

    I don’t think that the league wanting Incognito to go through a psych exam has nothing to do with the bullying or his general nastiness.

    I think it has more to do with the unstable behavior he has exhibited very recently, from vandalizing his own car to his bizarre and rambling interview he gave shortly before entering a treatment facility.

    The man obviously has, or had before he was treated, emotional problems that go far beyond anger management. I would think the league has a responsibility to make sure he isn’t a danger to himself or others moving forward.

  35. Jim McMahon will take Incognito tomorrow.
    He belongs in the ring. I think his schtick should be smashing up his luxury car before main event.

  36. Amazing that he was voted a leader of the team and yet no players or coaches had any clue he was so sick and evil. Maybe they all need an evaluation.

  37. Who the heck is ‘the league’, some self-appointed mind control group?

    And they make demand that a person get ‘evaluated’?

    Where’s the outrage?

    Nothing but proof the USA has lost freedom and that the PC police want to monitor what a person THINKS and BELIEVES. You are NOT allowed to THINK your own thoughts or have your OWN BELIEFS, no no, the PC police must know what you think and believe and they MUST cause you to adjust said thinking.

    Yet I’m certain many drones accept and welcome being controlled in this manner.

    What an idiotic planet and especially our own USA.

    Incognito, go ballistic on these PC idiots and fight for your rights that they are in fact violating.

  38. Won’t matter to the Raiders. They’ll sign him. And he’ll pass whatever roadblocks the NFL throws in his way. The bigger issue will be whether the refs watch him more closely and start flagging him for everything.

    The big thing is getting him to admit to himself that there’s a problem and deciding to fix it. Help is available if he is willing to seek it. And if he does … he’ll be a better person.

  39. If a team picks him up and then he does the evaluation and gets denied by the commissioner the the lawyers will line up.

  40. What, if any, similarity is there between Incognito’s problems/infractions and Irsay’s? I see none whatsoever. Why are you comparing the two?
    One many has had problems with bullying on multiple teams (multiple college and multiple pro teams), the other has a drug/drinking problem …

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