Bengals Release Vontaze Burfict, LB Signs One-Year, $5 Million Deal With Raiders
After seven seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals, Vontaze Burfict was cut. The team announced Monday that they’d released the linebacker. They had previously shopped him around the league but couldn’t find any takers. On Tuesday, Burfict inked a one-year, $5 million deal with the Oakland Raiders.
Burfict was a staple of the Marvin Lewis era. He brought an added dimension to the middle of the Bengals defense and struck fear into the hearts of opposing players. But that’s not to say he was a good one. In fact, Burfict is known around the league as one of the dirtiest players in the game today who has a long history of suspensions.
Ultimately, that along with his health would be his downfall. Since the 2013 season, Burfict has yet to play in more than 11 games per season due to suspension or injuries.
Burfict kicked off the 2018 season suspended for four games, his third year in a row suspended for at least opening week. Hip and concussion issues after that limited him to just seven appearances in a train-wreck of a season for Cincinnati. And when he did return, he was a shell of himself. Suddenly, his play didn’t make up for his conduct. A new coaching regime was brought in this offseason that had no problem cutting the 29-year-old defender.
“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. “Vontaze has been a good player here — the team appreciates that and I know a lot of fans appreciate that — but our focus is on the future. Our goal is to build a successful team for the upcoming season, and we felt that making this change now was best for everyone.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2019