The Bengals and linebacker Vontaze Burfict started talking about a contract extension a little while ago and it looks like the two sides may be able to strike a deal in the near future.
Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that the team and Burfict’s representatives met this week and that they have made progress toward keeping Burfict in Cincinnati well beyond the coming season. No agreement has been struck at this point, but, per Garafolo, the gap that once existed between the two sides has “shrunk significantly” over the course of their conversations.
Because Burfict entered the league as an undrafted free agent before the 2012 season, he would become a restricted free agent if no deal is struck and the Bengals extend a tender. Doing so would give them the right to match any offer to Burfict and they’d likely tender him at a high enough level that any interested team would also have to fork over a draft pick to sign him away.
Burfict’s production over his first two seasons might make that a possibility, but it seems the Bengals are doing what they can to avoid the risk entirely.