The Buffalo Bills have signed offensive lineman Richie Incognito, the team announced on Saturday. Incognito, who can play either guard position on the line, did not play in the NFL this past season. He last played for the Miami Dolphins in 2013, when he was at the center of the Jonathan Martin bullying controversy.
Incognito was undergoing a physical on Saturday, which is generally a formality. Buffalo is weak at the guard spot, with both Erik Pears and Kraig Urbik playing below-average football a season ago. Chris Williams is an above-average starter, but was dealing with a lower back injury for much of last season.
An NFL investigation and report revealed that Incognito, along with fellow offensive linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, bullied Martin when all four played for the Dolphins. Martin wound up being traded to the San Francisco 49ers, where he started multiple games this past season, while Incognito was suspended for the remainder of 2013. He was cleared to play in 2014 in August, but there were no takers.
Here's some other news from around the NFL:
Hoyer open to staying in Cleveland
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer is open to returning to the team if he has a chance to start, according to Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. Hoyer also said that he doesn't know if he'll hit the open market. He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year, but the Browns could sign him to an extension before then.
Given the doubt surrounding Johnny Manziel, Hoyer might be an attractive option. Then again, Hoyer might just have opportunities elsewhere without dealing with more coaching staff turnover and the potential pressure for the organization to push Manziel forward. Hoyer completed 55.3 percent of his passes for 3,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season.
Baltimore could part ways with Ngata
The Baltimore Ravens have asked defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to restructure his contract or take a pay cut multiple times over the past few seasons, and they're expected to do it again this offseason. Each time, Ngata hasn't been interested, but this time the potential for the two sides to part ways seems real.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens need to reduce Ngata's cap hit for 2015-16, and if they can't, they could wind up releasing the veteran. Ngata has been a huge part of Baltimore's defense for an awful long time, but his play on the field is starting to decline. He's got a cap hit of $16 million and reducing that is more important than strictly giving Ngata less money.
Rodgers blames Tampa Bay turf for injury
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers blamed the turf at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay for the calf injury that he was dealing with throughout the playoffs. Rodgers said that there are a "couple surfaces that are more likely to create injury than prevent injury," according to NFL.com. "There's some ones that I think need to be looked at. Tampa is one of them because of the amount of play, I think, that happens there."
Rodgers and the Packers played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 21, close to the start of the NFL Playoffs. He was dealing with multiple injuries throughout the playoffs, but led the Packers to the NFC Championship. They ultimately lost to the Seattle Seahawks. Tampa Sports Authority, which manages the stadium, said that they were in compliance with the NFL's rules.
Harrison had offseason surgery
Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith underwent surgery on his left hand this offseason, according to Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune. It's unclear what the procedure entailed, but it had to do with the ring and pinky fingers on the left hand. Smith called the surgery minor, and will be without a splint in the near future. In other words, this won't keep him out of offseason activities.
That's great, given that Smith has developed into one of the league's top safeties. Now that he's played three seasons in the league, he is eligible for a contract extension, as noted in the report. Smith says that he wants to remain with the Vikings, but there likely isn't too much urgency to get a deal done immediately.