The Indianapolis Colts could use some experience across the offense line. As we draw closer to the regular season, every name is being considered, even Richie Incognito.
Incognito is a controversial lineman who was suspended from the Miami Dolphins amid allegations of bullying teammate Jonathan Martin (a teammate of Andrew Luck‘s at Stanford). He has been cleared to return to an NFL team and has recently been making the round of teams looking for offensive line help.
Speaking earlier this week, Chuck Pagano said that the team would consider all possibilities. It was the most standard coach speak answer to the question you could ever get.
“Anybody that’s on the street right now, after the cut downs this weekend,” Pagano said. “Anybody that comes available, we’ll discuss. We will not, based on anything, say yea or nay based on history, this, that or the other.”
The guard has nine years of experience. Originally drafted in 2005, Incognito was ruled “Do Not Draft – Character” by then-Colts coach Tony Dungy.
As of now, it looks like the Colts will start three players across the middle of the offensive line who have one season of NFL experience combined. This move would essentially send rookie Jack Mewhort to the bench, which might not be so bad as he’s struggled in the preseason.
The Colts could also use quality depth across the line. Incognito is a solid player. He is a bit up or down, either turning in a great performance or something below average. Right now, he’s likely better than either of the Colts starting guards.
Form a pure talent standpoint, he’s not a bad player to sign. He will have a game or two a season where he draws a couple flags, but aside from that he’s a fairly good offensive guard.
Most of the negatives surrounding Incognito stem from off the field and locker room issues. There are a lot of unknowns surrounding the circumstances between him and Martin. Clearly there was some wrongdoing on his part, but we don’t know the all of the details nor the true nature of their relationship.
Incognito clearly has anger issues and the last this this unit needs is a destabilizing influence. The biggest thing with any line is continuity (not that the Colts have had that anyway). If the Colts really thought he could contribute, they should have signed him before training camp.
Signing him would amount to Grigson essentially punting on the 2014 draft class. Mewhort would end up on the bench and the rest of the class is looking subpar. The development of the younger players would essentially be stunted and that could hurt the payoff in the future.
There is also the Stanford connection. Luck and Coby Fleener came out in support of Martin during the incident, and they aren’t his only former teammates as Delano Howell and Griff Whalen are also Cardinal grads. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was also one of Martin’s coaches at Stanford.
Incognito isn’t a long term answer for the Colts either. He’s 31 and the Colts have to look towards the future. If they sign him, its likely for a one year deal and doubtful that he signs for a longer deal. One good year from Incognito, and he’ll seek a big money deal.
Signing Incognito seems like a headache that simply isn’t worth it right now. The Colts could use help, but Incognito isn’t anything special. He doesn’t automatically improve the offensive line and could be a huge distraction for the team going forward.