Bills’ GM Doug Whaley continually affirmed that re-signing T Cordy Glenn and G Richie Incognito were at the top of their to do list heading into the off-season. After extending the team’s franchise tag to Glenn last week, they made the latter official today by agreeing to a three year $15.75 million deal with Incognito.
“We’ve been going back and forth since the combine, we had hit a sticking point last week where I think we both kind of had to walk away from it for a second,” Incognito said via conference call on Tuesday. “Ultimately my number one goal was to comeback, their number one goal was to have me back. So we kept working towards this and we made it happen. .”
Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News was the first to report the new agreement, which minutes later was confirmed by Incognito himself via Twitter.
Who’s ready for 3 more years of DOMINATION in Buffalo!!!! @buffalobills
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) March 8, 2016
The deal certainly speaks to Incognito’s loyalty to Buffalo, whose unfavorable salary cap situation kept them from offering the 32-year old guard the type of money he likely would have commanded on the open market. “We definitely took a discount to stay in Buffalo and I felt I owed it to them,” Incognito said, pointing out that he spoke with six or seven other teams. “I think that is what made negotiations kind of so hot and heavy there for a second because we knew what we had on the outside. But it was important for me to come back like I said before, they saved me, they had belief in me and I believe in them. You can’t put a price tag on happiness and you can’t put a price tag on being comfortable.”
Following an 18-month hiatus from football – caused by the fallout of a bullying scandal with his former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin – Incognito was given a second chance in the NFL with Buffalo. Last off-season he was signed to a one year deal and made the most of in 2015, starting all 16 games at right guard and bulldozing opposing defenses week after week. His ability to pull and lead the way on run plays is largely why the Bills led the league in rushing this past season.
“I went from a guy that nobody wanted, to getting redeemed by Buffalo,” Incognito said. “I owe them a lot, I owe Buffalo to be able to come back and not only for them to come save me and help me resurrect my career. I wholeheartedly believed that their commitment to bring me back and my commitment to get back would ultimately result in this. It is a great feeling to finally come to the end of this and be a Buffalo Bill.”
Just yesterday it looked like the Bills were moving on from Incognito when former Saints guard Jahri Evans made a trip to One Bills Drive. About 24 hours later though they were able to reach an agreement with the familiar veteran and shore up the right side of the line for 2016.
With the contract talks now behind him Incognito is wasting no time getting ready for next season. “The next step is continuity up front. We have to grow from year one to year two. This isn’t a time to sit back and say I am here I have arrived this is it. This is a time to get back to work and get in the gym and work hard and prove I deserve this new contract.”