How happiness, loyalty and belief kept Richie Incognito in Buffalo

Posted Mar 8, 2016

Richie Incognito opens up to John Murphy about why he chose to re-sign with the Buffalo Bills and his belief that the team is heading toward a playoff run in 2016.

The free agent season means money. Big money in the NFL. But for Bills Guard Richie Incognito, re-signing with the Bills was about more than money.

“You can’t put a price tag on being happy,” Incognito said, shortly after agreeing to terms with the Bills on a new contract. “That’s where I’m happiest, playing in Buffalo, playing at the Ralph. I have great teammates. I’m surrounded by great guys: Tyrod, Sammy, Shady, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams, and Wood.”

“And I’m surrounded by great people in Buffalo who are passionate about football. You know when you walk into the Ralph on Sundays that place is going to be rocking.”

Incognito agreed to terms on a new three-year deal just more than 24 hours before he was able to hit the free agent market. And speaking to The John Murphy Show, Incognito says he took less money to stay with the Bills than he would have made as a free agent.

“I definitely took less to come back to Buffalo,” Incognito says. “I felt like I owed it to them for giving me a chance to come back and play at a Pro Bowl level.  To come back and be a player in the National Football League. I owe Terry and Kim Pegula, Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan, my teammates—I owe them everything.  Because I was sitting on my couch two years ago watching guys play football and knowing that I could contribute. Buffalo came in and saved me, and gave me an opportunity.”

Incognito’s return means the Bills have kept the left side of their offensive line intact. Both Incognito and Cordy Glenn were scheduled to hit the free agent market this year. The Bills tied up Glenn by putting the franchise tag on him last week and now have Incognito signed to a long term deal. It was Buffalo’s stated top priority to keep Glenn and Incognito on the roster.

Two months ago, at the Senior Bowl, GM Doug Whaley outlined his free agent priority for the offseason.

“Definitely retaining our own,” Whaley said back in January.  “Keeping our own unrestricted and restricted free agents. Trying to get those guys under contract and keep building off that and concentrate on the draft.”

Mission accomplished on the offensive line. And Incognito says he’s elated to work alongside Glenn and the rest of the offensive line for another year.

“I’m excited for big Cordy,” he said. “I think he’s a great left tackle. We have a lot of good football left in us. And with Wood, John Miller, Seantrel, the whole crew that we have together, we have a chance to be really special. I’m excited to see our growth from year one to year two.”

Most importantly, Incognito is excited to be returning to Buffalo. And he has a message for Bills fans looking ahead to 2016.

“We are right on the doorstep. We are knocking on the door. All the pieces are in place to take that next step--to make the playoffs,” he maintains. “All it takes is all we got and we have to buy in when we get back on April 18th.  We have to come together and realize internally how special we can be, and make the sacrifices necessary to take the next step. And that next step is the playoffs.”