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Richie Incognito is abruptly calling it quits on an 11-season
NFL career Ryan Suter
 , three years after the Buffalo Bills gave the offensive
guard a second chance at playing following his role in the Miami Dolphins'
bullying scandal.

The NFL Players Association on Tuesday night announced Incognito had
contacted the union of his plans to retire. The announcement made on the NFLPA's
Twitter account , came after Incognito revealed his intention to retire through
a series of tweets and comments made to several publications throughout the

Without going into detail, the 34-year-old said he was "done" in a text to
The Associated Press shortly after SportsIllustrated reported Incognito was
"strongly considering retiring," but would consider returning for one more
season at the right price.

Incognito then told The Buffalo News he's retiring because of health

"I'm done. That's it," Incognito told The News. "Went to the doctor. My liver
and kidneys are shutting down. The stress is killing me."

The Bills did not respond to a request seeking comment.

Incognito's decision to retire comes a week after he 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

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 Sean
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 , 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.

In its tweet Tuesday night, the NFLPA wished Incognito good luck in the next
stage of his career.

Incognito is leaving football a little over three years since signing a
one-year deal with Buffalo to resume his career after spending 18 months away
from the game.

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 Andrew
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 , 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.

Byfuglien is a big problem for Vegas.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Winnipeg defenseman can do it all, as the Golden
Knights saw up close when he helped the Jets win Game 1 of the Western
Conference finals with a goal and an assist.

”We got moving our feet right away,” Byfuglien said. ”And the ice opened

Byfuglien has a powerful shot, as he showed with a slap shot 1:05 into the
Jets’ 4-2 victory .

The 33-year-old former forward, who played right wing for the Chicago
Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run in 2010, can join a rush on offense in
even-strength situations and plays on the power play. The NFL-sized player is
nimble enough to skate fluidly and he handles the puck with soft hands.
Byfuglien can crunch opponents against the boards or on the open ice with checks
and kill penalties with savvy positioning.

In Game 1, he did all of that and more.

”You saw the Dustin Byfuglien spectrum,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”He
can shoot the puck a ton. He can make soft-hand plays and he can be as big and
strong as you want out there.”

Vegas center William Karlsson was asked to compare Byfuglien with any other
player in the league. And he was stumped.

”He’s kind of one of a kind,” Karlsson said.

If the expansion Golden Knights can’t figure out a way to keep the puck away
from Byfuglien and work around him offensively Robert
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 , their inaugural season may not last beyond this

Game 2 is Monday night in Winnipeg.

Byfuglien leads the league’s defensemen with 15 points and five multi-point
games in the playoffs.

”When he is on his game, he is as good as anybody,” Vegas coach Gerrard
Gallant. ”He’s a big strong man and can play the game any way you want to play

”Buf is a good player, but hopefully we don’t give him too many chances to
load up like we did (in Game 1) and take that big shot.”

The Blackhawks gave Byfuglien a shot to play in the NHL, taking a flyer on
the Minnesota native in the eighth round with the No. 245 pick overall in 2003.
He played his first full season in the league five years later and had 11 goals
and five assists for Chicago during the 2010 playoffs.

Byfuglien didn’t get to celebrate the championship for very long because the
Blackhawks traded him to less than three weeks after hoisting the Cup. Chicago
sent him to the Atlanta Thrashers, who became the Jets, to help manage its
salary cap. He has become a three-time All-Star with the franchise and a player
respected enough on the blue line to be in the running for the Norris Trophy six

Byfuglien, though, got off to a slow start offensively this season with a
slump that seems improbable for a player with five goals in 13 playoff games
this year. He began the season with a 29-game goal drought and finished with
eight goals, his fewest in five seasons.

”He had a helluva year and it was masked by the fact that he didn’t score a
goal for a long time and didn’t generate points,” Maurice said. ”The question
was `What’s wrong with Dustin Byfuglien?’ And the answer was Authentic
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 , `Absolutely nothing,’ because our hockey
team was winning and he was playing right.”

Byfuglien has been businesslike around reporters lately, appearing to be
focused on his tasks instead of showing off tricks with a cosmetic tooth he can
pop in and out of his mouth with his tongue. When a reporter asked about the
Atlanta hat he wore in the dressing room before Game 1, wondering if it was a
nod to his season with the Thrashers, he wasn’t in the mood to play along.

”The what?” he asked. ”I don’t even know what hat I got on.”

Byfuglien also wasn’t interested in comparing the Jets’ run to his success
with the Blackhawks.

”That was a while ago,” he said.

Discussing the challenges of facing Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury also
didn’t interest him.

”Get it behind him,” he said. ”Shoot pucks and hopefully they go in.”

His first shot against Fleury found the back of the net, and the blast
probably pushed the netting to its limit because it was so powerful.

”That first goal was a bomb,” Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland said.

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