The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to meet with Richie Incognito to determine if one of the central figures in the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal can help their struggling offensive line.
Coach Lovie Smith emphasized Monday that while the Bucs had arranged a “visit” by the free agent guard, a signing wasn’t necessarily imminent.
An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Miami offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in the middle of last season. Incognito was suspended and missed the final eight games before becoming a free agent when his contract with the Dolphins expired.
Smith said it would “jumping the gun” to assume the Bucs will sign Incognito but that he would enter the meeting late Monday with an open mind.
“We look at everyone who’s available. It’s no more than that. We haven’t signed anyone,” Smith said.
“We owe it to ourselves to compare our roster to what’s out there, and Richie’s a part of that. So I think we should just wait and let the process take care of itself and go from there.”
The Buccaneers overhauled their offensive line after last season, beginning with the release of two-time Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph. The unit suffered another blow when the team announced on the opening day of training camp that it was releasing projected starter Carl Nicks, who missed most of last season with a MRSA infection.
Smith bristled when he was repeatedly asked if bringing in Incognito for a visit, and possibly signing him, might upset the locker room.
“We look at all available guys, period. What does it hurt to look at someone who’s available,” the coach said.
“Would I have a football player on our team that I thought would mess up our team chemistry. The answer is no. Simple as that,” Smith added. “But I can’t assume that’s the case. To me, you go through the process. You look and you talk face to face with everybody that’s available. That’s what we’re doing.”
Incognito has long been labeled one of the NFL’s dirtiest players with a reputation for out-of-bounds behavior off the field.
“I’ve heard what happened down (in Miami). But for me, I think it doesn’t hurt anything to talk face to face with anybody that’s available,” Smith said, later adding: “I can’t go on hearsay. I need to see for myself.”
Redskins safety suspended two games: Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for a blow to the head to a receiver.
The NFL announced the suspension Monday, saying it was the sixth time Meriweather has violated rules aimed at improving player safety.
Meriweather was flagged for a personal foul when he hit Torrey Smith in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The safety will miss the regular season opener against the Houston Texans Sept. 7 and the Sept. 14 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Schaub has sore elbow: Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed his second straight day of practice with a sore throwing elbow, a problem that has lingered throughout the preseason.
Rookie Derek Carr took first-team snaps for a second straight day Monday with Schaub serving as a spectator.
Schaub’s status for Thursday night’s exhibition finale against Seattle remains up in the air but he and coach Dennis Allen said they are confident he will be healthy enough to start the season opener Sept. 7 against the New York Jets.
Brown, Williams among Ravens’ cuts: Safety Omar Brown and wide receiver LaQuan Williams are among 12 players cut by the Baltimore Ravens.
Brown was hoping to make the team after seeing action in four games over the past two seasons, but the addition of Terrence Brooks and Darian Stewart blunted his effort.
Williams, who played college ball at Maryland, has seen limited action in three NFL seasons mostly on special teams.
Those waived by the Ravens included: linebackers Austin Spitler and Nick DiMarco; offensive tackle David Mims, cornerbacks Deji Olatoye and Marrio Norman; running back Cierre Wood; punter Richie Leone and receiver Mike Willie.