This probably won’t be a popular sentiment, but I’m not here to make friends I’m here to stir up some debate. So here goes: Miami should sign Richie Incognito. Sure he’s dirty, sure he managed to get cut by the Rams and was poorly received when he was claimed by Buffalo. But clearly Miami has had an interest as they put in a claim for him last year and are hosting him this off-season.
So why should the Fins take a shot at Incognito? Well for starters he’s going to come relatively cheap. Nobody is vying for his services right now which means Miami will be able to get him for well below what his market value should be (if not for the peripheral issues with his dirty play). Second of all in an uncapped year if he proves to be problematic Miami can cut him with no cap penalty whatsoever. So the risk is essentially minimized.
But let’s also look at what Incognito could bring to the table. He’s 26, he’s 6’3 320, he’s started every game he’s ever played in and he’s incredibly mean. We all hate Logan Mankins but talk to any Patriots fan and they’ll tell you how much they love the guy. Think about it, Miami was a top five rushing team already without Incognito who would represent a clear-cut upgrade at right guard. This would improve the line and by extension the run game, possibly even the passing protection. But moreso it would give the Dolphins line an attitude adjustment. Jake Long is mean, but in a fairly subdued way. Justin Smiley is mean but in a “hurt-half-the-season-way.” Jake Grove? He’s mean also. Vernon Carey… not so much. But Richie Incognito is downright nasty. You’re telling me the Dolphins could add a mean-streak, upgrade the line and do so at a relatively low cost? No-brainer.
I’ve always felt Miami’s offense was somewhat… timid. Maybe timid isn’t the best word but ferocity is not the word that comes to mind either. That can be especially problematic in say, New Jersey, against the Jets defense. I’d like to see what Richie Incognito, finally on a competitive team and under the expert tutelage of Tony Sparano and the Tuna, would do to Bart Scott and Calvin Pace.
Incognito has never really had the benefit of playing on a good team or receiving good coaching. He played for Frank Solich and Bill Callahan at Nebraska, St. Louis has been in a meltdown-mode for over half a decade now and he got to play under an interim coach in Buffalo. Then consider the incentive for him to behave and prove he can be an elite guard (because after this chance he’ll find himself in Jeff George territory) and it’s not hard to argue that if he’s willing to buy into the Dolphins philosophy, he could actually be one hell of a reclamation project. A we all know how Parcells likes his reclamation projects.
To me this move would make perfect sense. The Dolphins have the potential to get bigger, stronger and meaner (ultimately better) with very little risk involved. The people in place to work with Incognito are the best in the business and this team desperately needs more tenacity, more personality. Miami just got rid of the one of the league’s dirtiest players in Joey Porter. At least, historically, Incognito commits most of his transgressions against players on other teams. Why not? Miami needs to sign Richie Incognito, if just for how much fun it is to say that name.