Here is a proposal for you: Richie Incognito could be a Kansas City Chief for a relatively low price in 2014. Would you support it?
Incognito is perhaps the biggest horse's ass in the entire NFL, and that will not change any time soon. He was an ass for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He was an ass for the Oregon Ducks. He was an ass for the St Louis Rams. And he has been an ass for the Miami Dolphins. I am saying this while still witholding judgment over the situation between him and Jonathan Martin. There have been plenty more incidents that have shown Incognito's true character, so we don't even really need to include that one.
Despite this, he is an above-average OG in the NFL and that looks to be a position that the Chiefs may need some help at in 2014. It's hard to argue that Asamoah has played well enough to earn a new contract. Not necessarily his fault, he was drafted for a different system. Jeff Allen has struggled, and was also drafted for a different system than what Reid runs. So by the laws of supply and demand, there is a match.
As with any player acquisition, there are things to consider. However, Incognito comes with a lot of considerations...
1. Veteran player - One thing the Chiefs lack (and will likely have even less of should Albert not be back in 2014) is experience on the OL. That includes the depth players we have. It's tough building a unit when you don't have someone with that experience to help guide younger players.
2. Leadership - Oh yes, believe it or not, Richie Incognito is a leader. A team captain for the Dolphins in 2013, Incognito actually has a history of being a guy teammates rally around because of his boisterous nature and magnetic personality.
3. Talent - Though he has been inconsistent, and plagued by injuries and controversy, throughout his career, Incognito is actually a pretty good football player. A 2012 Pro Bowl selection, Incognito has also been a prominant part of turnarounds for the offensive lines he has played for. His mean streak often causes his opponents to get distracted from their task which allows him to utilize his strength to dominate them.
4. Versatility - Incognito has experience all across the offensive line, and in multiple schemes. He has been a part of pass-first, run-first, power blocking, and zone-blocking schemes. And within those schemes he has played all 5 positions. Having that kind of player that can be shifted around without sacrificing talent is a huge bonus for an OL Coach.
1. Off the field conduct - Incognito has a laundry list of off the field issues going back as far as anyone can possibly even report on him. Kicked out of both Nebraska and Oregon, he had a number of red flags going into the NFL Draft. That continued in the NFL with his now well-documented problems in both St Louis and Miami.
2. On the field conduct - Perhaps more concerning to GMs and Coaches is Incognito's conduct on the field. 15 yard penalties are almost routine for him. Spitting, head butting, and even swinging his helmet at another player make up his resume. Bill Romanowski even called Incognito out of control...yeah, read that again, Bill Romanowski.
3. The locker room - This is really more of an unknown, but I'm putting it here because it's hard to imagine him having a good relationship with many of our current players. Regardless of how his teammates felt about him in Miami or St Louis, he has a lot of bad ink on him. And that kind of thing can ruin a player's relationship with his new team before he even gets there. However, Incognito does have ties to the Chiefs with several players, most notably Anthony Fasano who would have spent a lot of time working with Richie in Miami.
As I said earlier, I'm not passing judgment on the situation with Jonathan Martin yet. The facts aren't all out yet, and quite frankly, it doesn't seem like either guy is everything that they are trying to present themselves as. But apart from that situation, there is still no shortage of reasons to not like Richie Incognito. He is seriously "That Guy". But that doesn't mean he isn't a talented football player, and it doesn't change the fact that the Chiefs do need to address the OL before the 2014 NFL season gets underway.
The NFL is about winning. Fans don't tolerate losing. We generally claim to not support guys who show themselves to be bad off the field, but Larry Johnson and Dwayne Bowe have shown that this claim takes a backseat to winning and losing. Incognito could definitely help the Chiefs win, but is that enough to overshadow the fact that he is such a piece of trash both on and off the field.
For my faith in humanity, I'm hoping most folks vote "No" on Incognito (and do so for the right reason). However, for the sake of the Chiefs being perennial contenders...