Tampa, Fla. — The Buccaneers will meet with Richie Incognito to determine if one of the central figures in the Dolphins bullying scandal can help their struggling offensive line.
Coach Lovie Smith emphasized Monday while the Buccaneers 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 Buccaneers will sign Incognito, but the coach would enter the meeting 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.”
The Buccaneers overhauled their offensive, releasing guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks.
Smith bristled when he was repeatedly asked if bringing in Incognito for a visit, and possibly signing him, might upset the locker room.
“Would I have a football player on our team that I thought would mess up our team chemistry. The answer is no,” Smith said. “Simple as that.
“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.”
Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo will get his first NFL start when the Patriots visit the Giants on Thursday.
Garoppolo likely will play a good portion of the game amid talk incumbent backup Ryan Mallett might be traded.
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was “indefinitely” suspended after he left the team last Friday. General manager John Idzik said Patterson spoke to him and coach Rex Ryan on Sunday night, but Idzik would not discuss the reason for the absence.
... Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed his second straight day of practice with a sore throwing elbow.
... Kicker Jay Feely (Michigan) was among 13 players cut by the Cardinals.
... Washington safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season. Meriweather was flagged for a personal foul when he hit Torrey Smith in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Ravens.
... The Colts cut former Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams.