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The Oakland Raiders signed controversial guard Richie Incognito to a one-year contract on Tuesday, a move that left many analysts and fans in disbelief.
Incognito, who made headlines for allegedly bullying former Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin while the two played for the Miami Dolphins, hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2017.
During his brief retirement in 2018, Incognito was banned from a Florida gym and taken in for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation after allegedly throwing a dumbbell at a patron because the lineman thought he was being spied on.
Later in 2018, Incognito was arrested at a funeral home while making arrangements for his deceased father. According to police, Incognito “threatened to retrieve guns from his vehicle and return to shoot the employees.”
FULL COVERAGE: Raiders signing guard Richie Incognito
After the signing, Incognito’s agent Ken Sarnoff wrote in a statement, “He is doing very well and extremely excited about becoming a Raider. He looks forward to being a positive influence on and off the field.”
Incognito was named to three-straight Pro Bowls from 2015-17 as a member of the Buffalo Bills, but the signing wasn’t exactly well-received.
“Oakland prioritized high-character players in the draft, often selecting lesser players for team captains, etc,” Cowboys and Raiders writer Marcus Mosher tweeted. “Why ruin that by signing the likes of Richie Incognito and Vontaze Burfict? Neither are good enough anymore to warrant that kind of risk to a locker room.”
The fact that Incognito will be teammates with the aforementioned Burfict, who has also faced allegations of dirty play, was a source of amusement for many Twitter users.
“Over/under for the first fight between Incognito and Burfict in a padded practice is set at .5 practices,” former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz tweeted.
Some fans begged for the Raiders to be featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” while others expressed their outrage that Incognito found another NFL job while quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.
Click through the slideshow above to see reactions to the Raiders signing Richie Incognito.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/raiders/article/Richie-Incognito-Raiders-gym-bullying-controversy-13900862.php.