Incognito calls Zimmer a liar after coach says Vikings have no interest in OL
EAGAN, Minn.—Mike Zimmer says the Vikings have expressed no interest in controversial free agent Richie Incognito. The four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman says the Vikings coach is 'a (expletive) LIAR!!"
Incognito told TMZ last week that the Vikings and Seattle Seahawks had reached out to him. Zimmer on Tuesday denied that being the case with Minnesota.
"No interest and totally false," the head coach said. "Tweet that."
After Zimmer's comments, Incognito sent out a tweet saying, "Mike Zimmer is 'a F****** LIAR!!"
Incognito, 35, also posted screen grabs of text messages allegedly sent between him and the late Tony Sparano in March and June of 2018. Sparano was Incognito's head coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and 2011 and was the Vikings' offensive line coach until he died July 20 from heart disease.
The screen grabs on Incognito's Twitter account, @68INCOGNITO, do not offer any evidence of Sparano recruiting Incognito, or even interest in him playing for the Vikings, but merely show communication related to workouts and some casual comments.
A source said Incognito and Sparano talked often earlier this year, and the source claimed Sparano wanted him on the Vikings. But the source acknowledged Sparano had no significant hand in player personnel decisions for the Vikings.
Zimmer was not available for comment after Incognito's tweet, and the Vikings did not have any immediate statement.
After playing with Buffalo last season, Incognito indicated he would retire. However, after the Bills released him in May from the reserve/retired list, there were reports that he might continue to play. Incognito told TMZ last week he has not decided if he wants to play.
"I'm mulling all options right now," he told TMZ. "I'm just enjoying the offseason right now. I'm a free agent and that's it. Just waiting on that call. I've had calls from Minnesota and Seattle. I really just don't want to go to training camp, so we'll see."
Incognito has been involved in a number of off-field incidents over the years. He was suspended in November 2013 for a bullying incident involving then-Miami teammate Jonathan Martin and didn't play the entire 2014 season.
Incognito spent the past three seasons with Buffalo before being released in May. He was in a mental health clinic for three days later that month after an incident at a Florida gym in which he reportedly threw weights, a tennis ball and other items at customers, screamed obscenities and claimed the government was monitoring him.
"Obviously, it looks like he's dealing with some issues," said former Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, who played with Incognito in Buffalo in 2015-16 and was an scouting intern with the Vikings during the first week of training camp. "I had a good experience with Richie, and I like him personally. Just hope he's taking care of himself mentally."
The Vikings have injury problems on the offensive line. They could be without starters Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers and Nick Easton for Saturday's preseason opener at Denver.
Asked if he's worried about putting high-priced quarterback Kirk Cousins behind a makeshift offensive line in his Vikings debut, Zimmer said, "I'm always concerned about everything. It is what it is."