Around the NFL  

 

Incognito: I've learned from my past transgressions

Print

The Bills' signing of guard Richie Incognito was met with criticism from both outside and within Buffalo.

When the team announced it signed the player most famous for a 2013 bullying scandal, owner Terry Pegula said he, wife Kim and the rest of the team's brass met with Incognito and were "convinced" he was a changed person.

On Tuesday's edition of NFL Total Access, NFL Media's Jeff Darlington passed along Incognito's first public comments regarding what he said to make the Bills comfortable with his signing:

"I told them what I had learned from the whole situation," Incognito wrote in a text. "That I needed to respect those around me more and that I needed to realize I may find things funny that other find offensive. This whole learning process was about becoming self-aware. About becoming a better person/teammate/leader.

"We mutually expressed that this would be my last chance and we should look at it as a positive," he said. "Take the opportunity to bring attention to a sensitive subject while proving to people that I'm not a racist jerk. We talked about possible ways to turn this situation around and ways we can impact the community. We had a good talk for about an hour. They met separately. They then came back and said they would like me to be part of the organization."

Darlington added that Incognito has been working out twice a day over the past several months.

The 31-year-old also spent about six weeks in in-patient care at McClean Institute in Boston over the summer, per Darlington. NFL players Brandon Marshall and Aldon Smith are among those who have received treatment at McClean Hospital in the past.

As for any controversy surrounding the Bills following this signing of Incognito, NFL Media's Kimberly Jones said, from her understanding, there will be no apology from coach Rex Ryan for the Incognito signing, nor his declaration that he wants to "build a bully" in Buffalo.

"That might not sound politically correct," Jones said of Ryan's comments, "but Rex Ryan wants to win and he knows the Bills have to toughen up -- if you will -- to get winning done in Buffalo."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the free-agent quarterback market and discusses Peyton Manning's future. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print