June 6, 2018 / 9:58 PM / 8 months ago

Former Bills offensive lineman Incognito still hopeful for NFL return

Former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito is back home in Phoenix following an alleged altercation at a South Florida gym two weeks ago and is holding out hope for another chance in the NFL.

Sep 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive guard Richie Incognito (64) takes the field before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Incognito expressed his desire to join a new team in a text to The Associated Press on Wednesday. In the message, Incognito thanks the Bills for his three seasons in Buffalo before playfully adding “hopefully I will land somewhere so I can come back up there and kick their.”

Without mentioning the incident at the gym, Incognito also thanked former teammate Eric Wood for his support over the years.

Incognito noted that he’s back home in Phoenix training.

Incognito was held for mental evaluation by police following an alleged outburst in which Incognito was said to have thrown a tennis ball and then a dumb bell at a fellow gym patron and into the swimming pool. Boca Raton police believed Incognito to be in an “altered, paranoid state” upon responding; according to the police incident report, Incognito “believed ordinary citizens were government officials that were tracking and recording him.”

Incognito was held under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows involuntary mental evaluation. Incognito was not arrested and investigations revealed he had no intent to harm anyone, per the incident report, as “his actions were due to his paranoia that he was being followed, recorded and tracked by the government.”

Officers said they used two sets of handcuffs linked together on Incognito due to his muscular frame and that “it was determined that without care or treatment, there was a substantial likelihood Incognito would cause serious bodily harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior.” Incognito was taken to South County Mental Health Facility for evaluation.

Incognito was released from the reserve/retired list by Buffalo several days earlier.

According to an ESPN report, Incognito told the team he planned to unretire, leading to his release. The four-time Pro Bowler started all 48 games during his three seasons with the Bills.

Incognito, who turns 35 in July, suddenly retired in April, citing health concerns from his personal physician, but multiple reports indicated his contract played a major role. Incognito reportedly asked the Bills to address his contract in the days before he posted “I’m done” via Twitter.

—Field Level Media

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