BUFFALO, N.Y. >> Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito said he’s “done” in a text to the Associated Press amid reports he is considering retirement after 11 NFL seasons.
Incognito, who was suspended for half a season in 2013 for bullying a Dolphins teammate, followed up the text today with a laughing-face emoji and did not respond to further questions seeking clarification.
The text came shortly after SportsIllustrated.com reported Incognito was “strongly considering retiring,” but would consider returning for one more season at the right price.
The Buffalo News quoted Incognito as saying, “I’m done. That’s it.” Incognito added he is experiencing liver and kidney problems and is being affected by stress.
“I went to a doctor’s appointment the other day and they said, ‘Listen, the stress is killing you, what are you doing?’” Incognito told the News. “And I said, ‘Listen, I’m just doing what I love and that’s playing football.’ So that’s why I’m done.”
The Bills did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.
The development comes a week after Incognito fired his agent, David Dunn, in a post on Twitter. That decision came after Incognito accepted a pay cut by restructuring the final year of his contract.
Incognito initially backed his restructured contract by posting a note on Twitter saying he was “thrilled to be returning this season and fired up to get back to work with my Buffalo Bills brothers.”
Incognito is also the subject of an NFL investigation after Jacksonville defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accused the Bills player of making racist slurs during the Jaguars’ 10-3 win over Buffalo in an AFC wild-card playoff game in January.
The NFL has not announced whether it has completed its investigation. Ngakoue said he and Incognito cleared the air after they were AFC teammates at the Pro Bowl in January.
Incognito began Tuesday with a series of vague tweets, which began with “Good morning, FOOTBALL!” He then tweeted “Yes,” and “Wow,” before posting a note that read: “Big Ben.”
Later, he mentioned the Twitter accounts of the NFLPA and the union’s assistant executive director, George Atallah, in a note that read, “I’m done,” followed by a winking emoji with its tongue stuck out.
Incognito completed his third season with the Bills, who provided him a second chance at continuing his career. He signed with Buffalo in February 2015 after missing 18 months in the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal.
Incognito was suspended for the final eight games of the 2013 season, when the Dolphins were thrust into the national spotlight after offensive lineman Jonathan Martin abruptly quit the team amid accusations he was being bullied. An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen persistently harassed Martin.
In February, Martin was detained and questioned by Los Angeles police after posting a threatening note on his Instagram account. Martin’s post showed a shotgun and specifically mentioned Incognito, former teammate Mike Pouncey as well as a private Los Angeles prep school Martin once attended. Martin wrote suicide and revenge were the only options for a victim of bullying.
Incognito also played three-plus seasons in St. Louis, which drafted him in 2005. He played in college at Nebraska but left after being suspended, then transferred to Oregon though he never played for the Ducks.
Incognito earned three of his four Pro Bowl selections in Buffalo, and was considered among the Bills team leaders. He started all 36 games at left guard for the Bills, and was part of a line that led to Buffalo leading the NFL in yards rushing in both 2015 and ‘16.
The Bills offensive line is already undergoing a shuffle after center Eric Wood was diagnosed with a career-ending neck injury in January. Buffalo also traded starting left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati last month.