Linebacker Vontaze Burfict cost himself a lot of money in 2012 by frequently finding trouble on and off the field at Arizona State and then turning in a terrible combine performance that resulted in him going undrafted before signing with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent.
Burfict has turned things around since then, however. He’s turned in two strong seasons as a starter on the Bengals defense and that’s put him in position to start making some of the money he could have made had he been drafted as early as some expected he would be heading into the 2012 season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Burfict and the Bengals have started talking about an extension. Burfict is signed for $570,000 this year and would become a restricted free agent if they don’t reach agreement on a deal.
Assuming the Bengals would tender Burfict at a high level in order to limit the risk of losing him to another team, that salary give the two sides a framework to use for talks about a deal that eliminates the possibility of Burfict leaving altogether.