Investigated Incognito “Thoroughly”August 25th, 2014
It seems, per the fingers of CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who was roaming One Buc Palace today, the Bucs’ decision to bring in sleazy Richie Incognito for an interview hardly came on a whim.
In short, Bucs general manager Jason Licht and Bucs coach Lovie Smith didn’t just wake up this morning, text each other and decide to bring Incognito to One Buc Palace. La Canfora seems to imply this research has been going on for weeks and perhaps for months, and that Team Glazer signed off on this.
The team already had thoroughly investigated Incognito’s background (ex-teammates by and large continue to rave about Incognito), and have monitored him this offseason. They plan to have lengthy discussions with him. Even bringing him in for a visit would not occur without ownership’s backing, given the baggage that comes with him. But coaches and the front office would have to be totally comfortable with his presence as a player and teammate — on and off the field — and be convinced the behavior that has led to past discipline would not occur in Tampa.
“This isn’t about a lack of faith in our offensive line,” Licht said, “but it’s our responsibility to check out all options when players are available, and even if we did go this route it wouldn’t keep us from continuing to see what might be out there on the trade or free agent market.”
The Buccaneers haven’t determined if Incognito will end up going through a full workout here, wanting to take the visit incrementally and allow ample time to have deep discussions with players. He’s scheduled to take a physical and meet with team officials, and there have been no contract negotiations yet. It’s unlikely anything formal would come together until Tuesday at the earliest, sources said.
There you have it. Joe will have Lovie’s reaction to the firestorm momentarily. Lovie was emphatic Incognito’s visit is nothing more than a sitdown to gain more information.
La Canfora’s information hints the Bucs are a lot farther down the road to signing Incognito than what they are admitting publicly.