Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – New Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to “build a bully” during his introductory press conference.
The Bills announced Saturday that they have agreed to a deal in principle with controversial guard Richie Incognito on an undisclosed reserve/futures contract.
Incognito, a 10-year veteran with 102 career starts to his credit, spent the entire 2014 season out of football, essentially black-balled from the NFL for his participation in the infamous Miami Dolphins bullying scandal in 2013.
The 31-year-old also sat out the final eight games of that season after being suspended by the Dolphins for repeatedly harassing fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. launching a league-issued investigation overseen by prominent attorney Ted Wells.
Though the NFL lifted Incognito’s suspension last offseason, he remained unsigned after going through workouts with Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Denver.
Incognito, who played in three games with Buffalo towards the end of the 2009 season after being claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Rams, does have a reputation for being a durable player in addition to a dirty one. Not counting his 2013 suspension, he missed just one game over four seasons with the Dolphins.
The Bills were able to sign Incognito prior to the start of next month’s free agency period because he did not finish last season on a team’s roster.
Incognito potentially fills a glaring need at right guard for Buffalo, with returning starter Erik Pears scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.