ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos coach John Fox said the team took a look at Richie Incognito earlier this week to see if the free-agent guard would be an improvement to the roster.
Incognito, who was suspended by the NFL in 2013 and the final eight games last season as a key figure in the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal, visited with Broncos officials Monday and worked out for the team. The Broncos did not elect to sign Incognito, but team officials saw enough that they would consider signing him later in the season if the team suffers an injury or two in the position group or if they believe Incognito, 31, would be an upgrade on the depth chart as the season progresses.
“It was productive,’’ Fox said following Wednesday’s practice. “ … We’re always looking for avenues to improve the team, it was a productive visit.’’
Asked if the visit was productive enough to consider signing Incognito in the future, Fox said;
“I don’t want to get into speculation,’’ Fox said. “I can just tell you he visited … we did a lot of research, it was productive … We’re always trying to create competition, we do it every offseason, whether it’s through the draft or free agency,’’ Fox said. “That’s the nature of the beast, we all understand that. We’re always going to pursue any avenue we think improves the football team.’’
The Broncos tinkered plenty with the offensive line this season. First they moved Chris Clark out of the lineup for the Oct. 19 game against the San Francisco 49ers and put Paul Cornick in at right tackle. They then moved Cornick out of the lineup this past Sunday against the Oakland Raiders -- Cornick had a shoulder injury in practice last week, but the Broncos were poised to make the change anyway -- and move three players to do it.
Louis Vasquez went to right tackle where he made his first career NFL start at the position from right guard, where he was an All-Pro in 2013, Manny Ramirez went from center to right guard, and Will Montgomery went from being Ramirez’s backup in the middle of the offensive line to start at center.
The Broncos have had 36 rushing plays of either no gain or negative yardage, and they have allowed three sacks off three-man rushes.
Incognito’s past is something the Broncos have researched plenty. An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen (John Jerry and Mike Pouncey) engaged in persistent harassment of Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins in October 2013. Incognito was suspended and missed the final eight games of the ’13 season. He has been a free agent since his contract with the Dolphins expired.
Martin was later traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked out Incognito in August but did not sign him. Incognito has started 102 games at guard in his career.