The Oakland Raiders continue to bring in interesting personalities into the locker room. The NFL should choose them for the HBO documentary, Hard Knocks.
On Tuesday morning, the Oakland Raiders announced they’re bringing back much-maligned offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Many of us thought it was crazy they were even giving him a workout, and now he’s officially signed to play for the team in 2019.
Incognito may be the most famous offensive lineman in the NFL. Not for good reasons. His issues go back years, starting with his time with the Miami Dolphins. He was the main culprit in their team’s bullying scandal back in 2013. He reportedly forced former second-round pick Jonathan Martin off the team with his treatment of him. That can be considered ancient history, if the 35 year old didn’t have a long list of transgressions since then.
Just last year, he was put on a psychiatric hold after police say he threw a dumbbell at someone at a Florida gym. He was arrested a few months later for allegedly threatening to shoot employees of a funeral home.
Incognito was once a great player, but putting him in this locker room is a puzzling move. However, add him to all the combustible elements already in the Raiders locker room, and you have the best possible season of Hard Knocks yet.
Hard Knocks is the NFL’s documentary show that plays on HBO every season. Most years, we don’t get much because the team on the show has the right to cut anything they want from the episodes, but some seasons are a hit. When the Cleveland Browns starred on the show last year, it was must-see TV. A boisterous offensive line coach, the dynamic of Hugh Jackson and Todd Haley and a rookie quarterback with a personality made it entertaining to say the least.
Teams have the right to refuse being on Hard Knocks for one of three reason: (1) They have a first-year head coach, (2) the team made the playoffs in the last two seasons or (3) they’ve appeared on Hard Knocks in the past decade. The Raiders don’t fall under any of these scenarios, so if Roger Goodell wants the Raiders dirty laundry out there this offseason, it’s going out there.
Incognito would be one of the many headline makers on this show. This is the team led by head coach Jon Gruden. Imagine him trying to throw in his Monday Night Football schtick in everyday life. Him comparing the camera crew to the offensive line in the Ice Bowl is the comparison we should be here for.
There’s also the Derek Carr at quarterback prospect. He’s told anyone who would listen that he plans to be the Raiders quarterback for a long time, despite a down season and a big contract. Watching him try to convince the world that he’s a top-tier QB and can lead this team will be highly entertaining.
Then, of course, there’s the Antonio Brown drama. He forced his way out of Pittsburgh with demands and a blonde mustache. He finally got what he wanted with a trade to Oakland and a fat new contract. Seeing him showing off his skills in camp will provide great VO.
This should already be an open-and-shut case, but add the cherry on top that the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next season. This is their last season in the Bay Area after returning there in 1995. Seeing a fanbase on the fence, feeling dejected their team is moving away but happy they get this one last season with them.
The Raiders were the clear choice for Hard Knocks before the Incognito signing. Add in another wild personality to the locker room, and this is a slam dunk.