If you thought the Bengals might distance themselves from linebacker Vontaze Burfict after his latest questionable on-field behavior earned him a three-game suspension, you were wrong. Not only did the Bengals issue statements supporting Burfict 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, who is ineligible to play the first three games of 2017 after he appealed his punishment down from five games, was signed through this year on a four-year, $19 million contract he signed back in August of 2014

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 in completely unnecessary and illegal fashion.

During the 2016 NFL playoffs, Burfict went headhunting after Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, which got him suspended for the first three games of last season as well. Burfict has a whole host of different situations where he has been accused of dirty play against his opponents

He even started a fight at Bengals training camp when he went low on his own teammate, running back Giovani Bernard, who is coming off an ACL injury last year.

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, despite being fined nearly $1 million over the course of his short career, 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.