If I were Andrew Luck, I’d be ticked off if the Colts signed offensive guard Richie Incognito.
I’d be out of my head ticked off.
Luck spoke to his old Stanford teammate Jonathan Martin after last year’s Miami bullying scandal first made the headlines. The Colts quarterback knows what Martin went through, how Incognito treated his Dolphins teammate.
Do you honestly think, if you’re Luck, you can ignore that? How do you tell your franchise quarterback, “You’re a professional. He can help us win. That’s what matters.”
And even if you believe that, what are the odds that your quarterback, a young man of incredible character and immense talent, is buying what you’re selling?
I can still recall another Colts guy from Stanford, tight end Coby Fleener, bristling at a reporter who asked about Martin being “soft.” Now Fleener and Luck are supposed to look Incognito in the eye in the huddle how many times each Sunday and act as if nothing happened?
Come on, people. That’s just not being realistic.
Some will say the Colts need this guy. I’ve seen the thread on our ColtsBlitz.com message board, the tweets on Twitter, the comments on Facebook. I’ve read many say, “If he can help us, why not?”
Because this isn’t a guy you would be proud to have on your roster, I don’t care how well he protects Luck. When he signs — and make no mistake NFL teams have no problem ignoring questionable characters — it will be his fourth team in 10 seasons. There’s a reason guys bounce around the league, even a guy with 102 career starts who made the Pro Bowl in 2012.
Because he’s not a character guy. He is, as advertised, a bad guy.
But don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself.
Go all the way back to college, when he was accused of spitting on an opponent, then two weeks later, Incognito was ejected for starting a fight. In 2003, he was suspended indefinitely by Nebraska head coach Frank Solich after getting into a fight during practice.
In 2004, he was involved in a fight at a party and was charged with three counts of assault. It got knocked down to being found guilty of one misdemeanor count of assault and a $500 fine.
Before the draft, former Colts coach Tony Dungy said Incognito was listed as “DNDC” on the team’s board: “Do not draft because of character.”
In a TV appearance, Dungy said, “I know the reports that we had, the difficulties that he had in college, (and) some of the incidents that he had on the field and off the field. We just didn’t want to bring that into our locker room. That’s not to say he’s the guilty party in this. I don’t know everything that happened there, but I do know the reputation that Richie Incognito had, and it wasn’t what we wanted in our locker room.”
Move onto the NFL, in 2008 with St. Louis, he was fined three times for $35,000 for playing dirty and berating an NFL official. The next year, he was benched twice for repeated personal fouls, including two head-butting incidents. The Rams cut him after the last outburst. In four years with the team, he drew 38 penalties, including seven unnecessary roughness calls.
The pattern of behavior goes on. Do I really need to keep reciting this stuff?
In 2012 while with Miami, a police report was filed after Incognito was accused of harassing a female volunteer during the Dolphins’ annual celebrity golf outing. It was settled with the woman signing a confidentiality agreement.
Then last year, he was suspended the last eight games for, among other things, sending text messages and leaving voice mails for Martin with racial slurs and threats. And instead of keeping his mouth shut, Incognito professed his innocence, as if his track record would lead anyone to believe he was merely trying to toughen up the kid.
This is a guy you want on your team? Really?
I’m hoping the Colts are smart enough to pass on this guy. Protecting Luck is the No. 1 priority, but there’s no reason to sell your soul to do it.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.