It looks like Richie Incognito may get another shot at playing in the NFL.
The man in the middle of last year's Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal visited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, according to FOX Sports. This marks the first time Incognito has visited an NFL franchise since being implicated in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal last year.
An NFL investigation determined Incognito, and fellow offensive linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey were all responsible for 'persistent harassment' of Martin, who ended up quitting the team in the middle of the season because of the bullying. Incognito was suspeneded for the final 8 games of the season, and then became a free agent at the beginning of this year. He has yet to be reinstated officially by the league.
The Buccaneers retooled their o-line after last season, starting with the release of two-time Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph, so they are desperate to fill the void.
"I'm going on the facts right now. The facts are we're bringing him in for a visit. So, guys, there's nothing else for me to talk about or tell you from there. We evaluate all prospects. He's a prospect and we're looking at him," coach Lovie Smith told ESPN.
Smith said he believes in second chances and wants to talk to Incognito himself.
"To me, nobody should have a death sentence. If you should, you're probably in jail," he said. "From there, what does it hurt to talk to someone? For me, as we go forward, I'm not holier than thou. I'm going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt until I have information that tells me otherwise."
The 31-year-old Incognito, an offensive guard, has started 102 games over eight seasons with the Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this month during the Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend that all three players have fulfilled league requirements so far to be reinstated, speaking especially glowingly about Incognito.
"I would say the one person that has been very responsive and has gone through the program is Richie Incognito," Goodell said. "We're working with his people and monitoring his progress."
Jerry has since been traded to the New York Giants, and Pouncey is now with the San Francisco 49ers.