4-time Pro Bowler shocks fans by abruptly retiring


Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito stunned fans by announcing his retirement Tuesday.

The four-time Pro Bowler told Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News that he’s leaving the game because the stress is “killing” him.

“I’m done. That’s it,” Carucci quoted Incognito as saying. “It’s been a long career. Went to the doctor. My liver and kidneys are shutting down. The stress is killing me.”

According to Carucci, the 34-year-old guard said he told Bills owner Terry Pegula, general manager Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott about his decision.

Incognito confirmed the report Tuesday morning, tweeting, “I’m done.” His message was directed at the NFL Players Association and its assistant executive director of external affairs, George Atallah.

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Carucci said Incognito would soon make it official.

“I am just done with the game,” the guard said. “I love it … It’s time to move on. I want to play some golf.”

However, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said he spoke with Incognito and the guard might return for one last season “at the right price.” He said Incognito “has until Sunday to change his mind about retiring.”

The Bills restructured Incognito’s contract in March, and he seemed happy about it at the time.

On Tuesday, however, he told Carucci the pay cut “pisses me the f off. The contract and all that pissed me the f off.”

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But Incognito said that had nothing to do with his decision to retire, and there’s no chance he’ll change his mind about it.

Do you think Richie Incognito's NFL career is truly over?

Incognito was selected by the Rams in the third round of the 2005 draft. He had a reputation for nasty play and racked up unnecessary roughness penalties and fines in St. Louis before he was waived in 2009.

He eventually ended up in Miami, where he was embroiled in a scandal over the bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin. The Dolphins suspended him for the final eight games of the 2013 season for “conduct detrimental to the team,” including racial slurs and taunts toward Martin. Incognito never played another down in Miami.

He sat out the entire 2014 season before signing with the Bills before the 2015 season.

Incognito revived his career in Buffalo, earning Pro Bowl honors the past three years.

“It has really just been a good fit,” Incognito told the Democrat & Chronicle in December. “Terry and Kim Pegula extended an opportunity for me to establish myself back in the league. [Former coach] Rex [Ryan] and [former GM] Doug Whaley provided me the opportunity and I wanted to make right on it.

“When we originally talked about this, we talked about making a positive out of this. One of the big things was controlling what I can control, being a good teammate, and playing well on the field. I held up my end of the bargain and it’s nice to be rewarded.”

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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