If you thought the Bengals might distance themselves from linebacker Vontaze Burfict after his latest questionable on-field behavior , you were wrong. Not only after the suspension, but the team just handed the linebacker a huge new extension.
According to multiple reports, both from ESPN and NFL Network, the Bengals gave Burfict a three-year extension worth $38.68 million.
Burfict,after , was signed through this year on .
The timing, then, could be more about how the Bengals handle their negotiations with players and less about trying to make a statement that they support Burfict. Clearly they do: you don't hand someone $38 million if you don't believe in them as a player and a person.
Burfict's issues just seem to be that he is a player incapable of not doing the questionable thing on the field. You plug him into the NFL in the 1970s and he would be widely praised as a "warrior" and "an enforcer over the middle." In today's game, he is just a guy who cannot follow the rules.
His latest suspension came as a result of not following the NFL's newest rule, which expanded the definition of defenseless receivers. Burfict laced into Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman .
Don't think Vontaze Burfict hit is dirty in "traditional" sense but clearly a violation of new NFL rule making receivers defenseless. pic.twitter.com/dWnZ17qwCz— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 28, 2017
He even started a fight at Bengals training camp Giovani Bernard, who is coming off an ACL injury last year., running back
But he is also a really good football player when he keeps it between the lines. Burfict provides a stout run-stopping force for Cincinnati and is probably their second-best defensive piece behind Geno Atkins.
Picked up as an undrafted free agent, it was obvious from the second he fell in the draft that Cincinnati was going to land him. He flourished in Marvin Lewis' system,, and the Bengals organization apparently loves him.
So Vontaze, even with all his dirty plays, is going to be roaming the field for Cincy for a while longer.