Controversial Las Vegas Raiders lineman Richie Incognito announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday. Incognito wrote a letter to Raiders fans announcing the news.
In the letter, Incognito thanks Raiders fans for supporting him in both Oakland and Las Vegas. Incognito, who played in just two games the past two seasons, cited injuries as a reason for his retirement.
"I've dealt with injuries the last two years I never had before in my career. My body told me it was time, and I knew I was ready to hang them up. And though some in my inner circle might not believe me – I'm ready. There's no turning back."
Incognito, 39, experienced success on the field during his 14 seasons in the NFL. He started his career with the St. Louis Rams, who selected Incognito in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. Incognito was considered a strong prospect, but was involved in some troubling situations in college, including various suspensions and three assault charges. He was dismissed from two different college programs.
Richie Incognito had troubled history in NFL
Incognito lasted three and a half seasons with the Rams. The team eventually released him after getting into a sideline argument with Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. Incognito was angry he was benched after headbutting opposing team members. He was claimed by the Bills, and played three games with the team during the 2009 season.
The Miami Dolphins signed Incognito before the 2010 season. He missed just one game over the next three seasons, eventually making the Pro Bowl in 2012.
During the 2013 season, Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins indefinitely after allegedly bullying teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito reportedly sent Martin a racist voicemail. Incognito's suspension was lifted in the offseason. He did not sign with a team during the 2014 NFL season. Incognito acknowledged some wrongdoing in the incident, but believes he did not bully Martin.
Incognito returned to football in 2015 and made three straight Pro Bowls as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He initially said he would retire from the Bills following the 2017 NFL season. After changing his mind, the Bills cut Incognito. He was arrested in May for allegedly throwing tennis balls and dumbbells at another person in a Florida gym. Incognito reportedly told police he believed he was an NSA agent at the time. In August, Incognito was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot people at a funeral home in Arizona.
Incognito did not play in the NFL in 2018. He returned for the 2019 season, signing with the Raiders. He played in just two games in 2020 due to injuries and missed the entire 2021 season with an injury.