Jon Gruden is confident Derek Carr will succeed with the pieces the team added
These still aren’t your father’s Oakland Raiders but with last week’s signing of troubled offensive lineman Richie Incognito they’re definitely inviting some nastiness and mouthiness from yesteryear.
Incognito, whose 12-year career has been draped in controversy on and off the field, joins the Raiders’ earlier additions of linebacker Vontaze Burfict and wide receiver Antonio Brown to create what some may call a trio of troublemakers in Oakland.
We’ll have to wait and see if any of them approach the disturbing deeds of other notorious bad boys to wear silver and black, such as Bill Romanowski, Lyle Alzado, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum and John Matuszak.
To be fair, the Raiders have addressed the troubled past with all three and are allowing Brown, Burfict and now Incognito to operate with a clean slate as the team hopes their talents supersede any drama.
However, as new general manager Mike Mayock said on Tuesday, “you can’t have all Boy Scouts” on your football team.
Just what are the Raiders getting themselves into with Incognito, Burfict and Brown all on the same team? Here’s a look at some of the baggage each will carry into Raiders training camp:
Voted the dirtiest player in the NFL according to a 2009 Sporting News poll, his “rap sheet” includes spitting on an opponent in college, bullying a teammate with the Dolphins and just last year threatening to shoot funeral home employees.
Aug. 20, 2018: The four-time Pro Bowl guard was arrested for an incident at a Scottsdale, Ariz. funeral home before his father’s funeral. Authorities say Incognito threatened to shoot the employees and was “punching caskets and throwing objects” after he told the staff he wanted his father’s head cut off for research purposes.
Aug. 7, 2018: Incognito goes on Twitter to post a profanity-laced attack on Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, claiming the Minnesota coach lied about trying to sign him.
May 23, 2018: Was placed on an “involuntary psychiatric hold” after a meltdown in a Boca Raton, Fla. fitness club. Incognito allegedly threw a dumbbell and a tennis ball at another person in the gym. He told authorities he suspected he was being spied on by the National Security Agency.
Nov. 13, 2013: Incognito is suspended from the Dolphins for repeatedly bullying teammate Jonathan Martin and causing the former Stanford star emotional and psychological damage. He is later released by the Dolphins.
Dec. 13, 2009: Incognito is benched by the Rams after he drew two unsportsmanlike penalties for head-butting two Titans players. He is fined $50,000 by the NFL and waived by the Rams the next week. In his four years with the Rams, Incognito drew a team-leading 38 penalties, including seven unnecessary roughness penalties.
Oct. 17, 2008: He’s fined $35,000 for three violations in a game against Washington, including “repeatedly berating an official.”
2002-2004: While at Nebraska, Incognito developed into an All-American but also began developing his reputation for getting into trouble. He was accused of spitting on an opponent in his second collegiate game, two weeks later he was ejected for starting a fight against Penn State. The next spring, the Huskers suspended Incognito for a fight during practice and was sent for anger management treatment by the football team. In 2003, he was accused of spitting on two Michigan State players during the Alamo Bowl. In February of 2004, he was charged with three counts of assault during a fight at a college party. Finally, he was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 1, 2004 by new Nebraska coach (and ex-Raiders coach) Bill Callahan for a locker room fight.
When talking about the NFL’s dirtiest players it doesn’t take long for Burfict’s name to come up. The seven-year veteran has fined and suspended for so many unnecessary hits and questionable plays that he’s been docked more than $4.5 million in pay.
Ironically, the most popular source of Burfict’s anger and subsequent illegal hits is probably his new teammate, Antonio Brown, a former Steelers receiver and AFC North rival of Burfict’s.
In addition, it’s interesting to see what Burfict’s new GM said about him during the 2012 draft. “I watched three tapes and really didn’t like him as a football player,” Mayock said on NFL Network. “I think he’s a nondraftable kid.”
Oct. 20, 2018: He was fined $112,000 for two unnecessary roughness plays in against the Steelers, including a play where Burfict elbowed Brown in the head during a tackle in a Bengals loss. Burfict then pointed at Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and told him, ‘You’re next.’ ”
April 12, 2018: The NFL suspended Burfict for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
Aug. 1, 2017: He started a brawl during Bengals training camp by diving at teammate Gio Bernard’s knees. Bernard had recently returned to practice after missing the previous season with a torn ACL. A couple of weeks later, Burfict’s illegal hit on a Chiefs receiver earned him a three-game suspension to start the regular season.
Nov. 20, 2016: He gets docked $12,154 for flipping off Bills fans in Buffalo in a Cincinnati loss.
Oct. 16, 2016: Burfict’s reputation probably cost him $75,000 when he was ruled to have intentionally stomped on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, although replays didn’t seem to back up that ruling.
Jan. 9, 2016: Burfict knocks Antonio Brown out cold with a vicious hit that drew a penalty and led to the Steelers’ game-winning field goal in the AFC Wild Card game against the Bengals. Burfict was suspended for the first three games of the 2017 season for the hit that caused a concussion for Brown.
Dec. 13, 2015: Burfict gets fined nearly $70,000 for three plays that drew penalties — a pair of unnecessary roughness calls and a low hit on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s knees.
Nov. 1, 2015: While tackling Le’Veon Bell, Burfict caused the Steelers’ star running back to suffer a season-ending knee injury. Some Steelers accused Burfict of celebrating Bell’s injury, though Burfict denied this.
Oct. 12, 2014: He incurred a $25,000 fine from the league for purposely twisting the ankles of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and tight end Greg Olsen, both of whom came into game with ankle injuries.
Oct. 27, 2013: Burfict is fined $21,000 by the NFL for spearing a Jets receiver with his helmet, bringing his total fines for the season to nearly $60,000.
Sept. 22, 2013: His first NFL fine was a $10,000 penalty for intentionally hitting a Packers player in the groin during a game.
2009-2012: While at Arizona State, he was called the “Meanest Man in College Football” by the Sporting News. One reporter said that after Burfict became academically eligible as a freshman that the linebacker was in at least one fight during practice the entire week.
Nov. 18. 2010: Burfict, who was benched by his Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson a number of times for incurring penalties, but against Stanford Burfict ignored the former 49ers coach’s orders to leave the game following a penalty.