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Raiders offer Incognito NFL lifeline

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Controversial lineman Richie Incognito has been handed the chance to resurrect his NFL career after signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, the team said Tuesday.

Incognito, 35, has not played in the NFL since 2017, when he said he planned to retire after three seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

The 6ft 4in, 322-pound guard was signed by the Raiders after a workout with the team earlier this month.

The offensive lineman was a controversial figure during his first 11 seasons in the NFL, which also included a stint with the then St. Louis Rams.

A series of on-field infringements saw him voted the "dirtiest player in the NFL" according to a 2009 poll in Sporting News.

In 2013, he was the central figure in a bullying scandal at the Dolphins involving team-mate Jonathan Martin, which eventually saw Incognito suspended for three months.

Incognito was later released by the Dolphins and sat out the 2014 season before being signed by the Buffalo Bills.

He was released by the Bills and soon afterwards was in trouble with authorities again, placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold for his involvement in an altercation at a gym in Boca Raton, Florida.

In August last year, he was arrested in Arizona after allegedly threatening staff at a funeral home.

Raiders manager Mike Mayock said Incognito's signing would be contingent on his ability to stay out of trouble off the field.

"We've done a one-year prove-it deal with him," Mayock said. "Prove it means both on and off the field."

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