Report: NFL fines Vontaze Burfict but doesn't ban him for dirty play
The Bengals linebacker gets hit with a $75,000 fine for unnecessary roughness
The league has fined but not suspended Vontaze Burfict for his foray into dirty football. Specifically, the Bengals linebacker is now $75,000 lighter in the wallet, according to NFL.com, for unnecessary roughness against Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.
"Unnecessary roughness" certainly fits, though it certainly looks premeditated, too. You can judge for yourself:
Video: From coaches film (courtesy NFL), watch Vontaze Burfict (55) deliberately step on Blount's leg after TD. pic.twitter.com/wtTPqy3XHP— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 17, 2016
It appears that Burfict walks toward the pile of bodies and steps on Blount. The evidence is inconclusive, but Blount's reaction is noteworthy. The league saw enough to fine Burfict, but not suspend him -- even though Burfict has a previous history (he was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season because of it) and in that very same game he went low on tight end Martellus Bennett in what can be described as a dangerous, dirty hit.
Somehow, the NFL didn't fine Burfict for the hit on Bennett.
Meanwhile, this development won't be welcome news for the former head of officials.
"If it's a large fine and not games they don't have any guts," Mike Pereira, the former NFL vice president of officials, told the Cincinnati Enquirer earlier this week. "I mean, the guy was suspended for the first three games of the season. So you pile on, you pile on punishment when you look at history, and he has history dating all the way back to college for God's sakes. Obviously it doesn't apply in the NFL, but I don't see how they can do anything but suspend him because it was not a football act. He didn't lead with the helmet trying to break up a pass. He didn't do that. This was just a dead, you know, cheap, intentional cheap shot. So to me, I'm like shocked if the NFL doesn't maintain some leverage here and get rid of him for another couple of games."
Consider yourself shocked, Mike.
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