Buccaneers bringing in Incognito for a visit
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to determine if Richie Incognito is a good fit for their struggling offensive line.
Coach Lovie Smith confirmed Monday he was going to meet with one of the central figures of the bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins last season, but also cautioned the "visit" might not necessarily end with the free agent guard resuming his career with the Bucs.
An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in the middle of last season. Incognito was suspended and missed the final eight games before becoming a free agent when his contract with Miami expired.
Smith said it would "jumping the gun" to assume the Bucs will sign Incognito but that he would enter the meeting late Monday with an open mind.
"If you know my history, I do believe in second chances. To me, nobody should have a death sentence. If you should, you're probably in jail," Smith said.
"From there, what does it hurt to talk to someone? For me, as we go forward, I'm not holier than thou. I'm going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt until I have information that tells me otherwise," the coach added. "That's where we are right now. Part of that process is Richie coming in."
The Buccaneers overhauled their offensive line after last season, beginning with the release of two-time Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph in a cost-cutting move.
Plans for the restructured unit suffered a setback on the opening day of training camp when general manager Jason Licht announced the team was parting ways with another incumbent starter, guard Carl Nicks, who missed most of last season with a MRSA infection.
Smith bristled when he was repeatedly asked if bringing in Incognito for a visit, and possibly signing him, might upset the locker room.
"We look at all available guys, period. What does it hurt to look at someone who's available," the coach reiterated.
"Would I have a football player on our team that I thought would mess up our team chemistry? The answer is no. Simple as that," Smith added. "But I can't assume that's the case. To me, you go through the process. You look and you talk face to face with everybody that's available. That's what we're doing."
Incognito has long been labeled one of the NFL's dirtiest players with a reputation for out-of-bounds behavior off the field.
"I've heard what happened down (in Miami). But for me, I think it doesn't hurt anything to talk face to face with anybody that's available," Smith said, later adding: "I can't go on hearsay. I need to see for myself."
Several players, including quarterback Josh McCown and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Incognito would be welcomed to the team if Smith and general manager Jason Licht winds up signing Incognito, who has also played for the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills during a nine-year career.
"I don't know him personally. In these situations, you trust Jason and Lovie and the guys as they try to help our football team," McCown said. "No matter who it is, if someone is an addition to our team, Lovie always talks about embracing them and making them feel like one of us. So if that's the case, we'll do that with him."
"As long as he can help us win, then that's all I'm concerned about," McCoy said. "If there's a problem, we'll deal with it accordingly. As long as he's doing what he's supposed to do on the field, I'm not concerned about anything else."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated August 25, 2014
The playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin checks in and helps us set the stage for Broncos and Patriots this Sunday in Foxboro.
Kyle Arrington, filing in for Devin MCcourty, previews Pats-Broncos
Adam Schefter, ESPN Insider, joins the guys to talk Pats-Broncos, Brady-Manning and the rest of the NFL.
Its time to start the season for the Celtics! We talk about the things we like about the Celtics and the things we dont like very much. Plus Sam feels like a jerk for laughing at Julius Randle.
Jackie MacMullan joins MFB for the first time this season. She discusses the rejection of NBA lottery reform, Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics chances this season.
Mut, Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back and talking not only Red Sox, but MLB Hot Stove. They talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, and take some phone calls about some of the Red Sox potential moves.
Mut, Rob Bradford, and Alex Speier talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. Ben addresses some questions regarding Will Middlebrooks, Rusney Castillo, as well as Yoenis Cespedes' future with the club.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
We discuss the Bruins blown 2 goal lead against the Wild at the Garden and where they go from here with the great Jack Edwards of NESN.
NESN's Andy Brickley joined the show following Boston's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Brick talked about Patrice Bergeron's line getting beat a lot, the Bruins' lack of focus in their 6 losses, and the big blow to the defense with Torey Krug's injury.
Joe McDonald joins the guys to talk to about the Chara injury and how the Bruins will move forward without him.
Happy birthday Kirk!!!!
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys got dressed up for Kirk's 40th.
MFB and the callers wish a very Happy 40th Birthday to Kirk Minihane
Three For All, Ebola Scare
Dale, Steve DeOssie and Tom E Curran of CSNNE put the final touches on a week of discussion about the upcoming showdown in Foxboro vs. the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
We send out well wishes to our friend and colleague Bob 'Neumy' Neumier
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
The playoffs are here and we are ready! Brad Feldman joins the show to talk about the Revs vs the Crew. We also talk about the newest addition to the MLS.
WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin is joined by Joe Meloni of College Hockey News on the first episode of the College Puckcast. They talk about the wrist injury that will sideline Boston College defenseman Steve Santini until at least January, as well as the good start for Boston University and its star freshman, Jack Eichel. Other topics include fast starts for Vermont and UMass-Lowell and slow starts for Providence and Northeastern.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show