The Richie Incognito retirement saga isn't over quite yet. It sounds like his comeback after a very brief retirement might be beginning.
The four-time Pro Bowl guard announced his retirement on April 10 due to serious health issues caused by playing football. Less than a week later, he tweeted that he was unretiring. Bills general manager Brandon Beane refused to talk about Incognito's retirement saga at the time, noting that Incognito was still on the team's reserve/retired list. But on Monday, the Bills released Incognito from that list.
Incognito, 34, is now free to unretire and pursue another opportunity to play in the NFL.
We have released G Richie Incognito from the Reserve/Retired list. pic.twitter.com/Tr1JsIychT— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) May 21, 2018
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Incognito wants to unretire and return for the 2018 season.
He will have suitors. Incognito, also known for his role in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal in Miami, is coming off a season in which he ranked fifth among guards in pass-blocking efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. He allowed only two sacks and two hits last season, and graded out as PFF's 12th-best guard. There's a reason Bills running back LeSean McCoy offered Incognito a cash-based incentive to unretire and return to Buffalo.
So, who could be in the market for his services? In short, any playoff-hopeful team lacking a top-caliber guard.
Would upgrade several LG spots across the NFL. Some that jump out: Baltimore, KC, Minnesota, and Carolina. https://t.co/6DoEFvDv7e— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) May 21, 2018
For the Bills, losing Incognito to retirement already hurt, but losing him to another team for free would be a brutal outcome -- especially after they already lost center Eric Wood to a career-ending injury and traded left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati. The Bills did draft a guard in Wyatt Teller in the fifth round of this year's draft, but asking him to replace Incognito is asking the impossible.