After first saying he was “thrilled” to return to the Buffalo Bills, offensive guard Richie Incognito has apparently changed his mind.
In an interview with the Buffalo News, Incognito said he would be retiring from football due to medical concerns.
“I’m done, I’m done, that’s it,” Incognito told the News. “It’s been a long career. My liver and kidneys are shutting down. Nothing I can’t restore with some balance, but the stress is killing me.
“I went to a doctor’s appointment the other day and they said, ‘Listen, the stress is killing you, what are you doing?’ And I said, ‘Listen, I’m just doing what I love and that’s playing football.’ So that’s why I’m done.”
After agreeing to the terms of the restructured deal, Incognito last week posted a message on his official Twitter account, indicating he was terminating his relationship with Athletes First, the agency that represented him.
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Incognito had been a stabilizing force on the Bills’ offensive line, being named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons and having started all 49 games, including one playoff appearance, in that time.
But his NFL career was marked by controversy, as the Miami Dolphins suspended him for eight games in 2013 for his role in a bullying scandal involving fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue also accused Incognito of using a racial slur during their AFC wild-card playoff game this year, though the two cleared the air during Pro Bowl practices.
Incognito would be the third starter from last year’s offensive line to depart Buffalo this offseason. Center Eric Wood retired due to a neck injury, while left tackle Cordy Glenn was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Incognito told the Buffalo News that the pay cut did not influence his decision to retire.
“It’s just about doing what’s right. And that’s it,” Incognito said. “I just want to be in the Hall of Fame. I think I’m there.”